Mallett Rises To Top Of My List
By Brian Miller
I will admit that I did not sit frozen in front of the TV watching every 40 yard dash or defensive drill or for that matter every running back drill. I did watch quite a bit of the QB’s though and some of the WR’s. So while I may not be able to speak with any authority on most of the NFL Combine, I can tell you that on my list of top draft prospects, Ryan Mallett is number 1.
There was very little for me not to like. I first watched as he fielded what seemed like a million questions on his drug abuse (more on that on page 2). He held his own with the media and did so with a smile. Never once losing his cool. It was also reported that his personal one on one interviews with team reps went well.
What stood out to me was his size. Something that many scouts have warned could cause teams to turn a blind eye towards his bad habits. I admit it’s hard to overlook his size. It’s even harder to overlook his arm strength. Something that the Dolphins haven’t seen since Dan Marino.
Mallett showed off his 5 step drop and his rainbow arches that landed with stride for stride accuracy. He showed off his canon arm on out patterns and curl routes. Tight spirals that launched from his shoulders. Hard and with touch.
The Dolphins are looking to trade down in the draft, or so they say, and Mallett figures to be a mid-to late round 1 QB. His stock hasn’t risen or fallen much from the Combine tests and the Phins could find Mallett available by moving down. It may be a foolish mistake to pass him up.
The Dolphins need more than anything real competition at QB for next year. It will make Chad Henne better and it will make a rookie better. If both players work out and improve, then there is an available trade commodity in another year or two. It happened before in San Diego. Again, back to the Drew Brees analytics.
Some believe, media and fans, that Malletts drug habits, or rather rumored drug habits, will be his undoing and that he simply is too much of a risk to be taken in round 1. However, it should also be pointed out that Dan Marino’s draft stock plummeted from similar rumors of drug abuse. While I really don’t want to debate Dan Marino’s history I will point out a more recent abuser. Ricky Williams.
Many fans have simply forgiven Ricky for what he did off-field. His suspensions, his quitting, his return, his suspension again, and now, he is back to being a favorite among fans. Ryan Mallett has done nothing that we are factually aware of and yet some are turned off by the prospect of him joining the Dolphins because of it. He has no first strike against him, or second. In fact, he could have done drugs throughout his entire college career and it would have no bearing on him in terms of NFL violations…until he is a player.
Ryan Mallett is simply a big strong armed QB who is that prototype the Dolphins should be looking for. Not a Cam Newton shotgun and run type QB. A pure passer who will go out and make plays or die trying.
There is something about this kid that I really like. After him, the field thins at the position but I also would not complain about Colin Kaepernick who showed off his arm as well at the Combine. For now, Mallett would be my choice for the Dolphins first selection…IF…the team moves down in the draft. I don’t see a lot of real value at the 15th slot unless Julio Jones, the WR out of Alabama.
Jone posted one of the fastest 40 times and has made a case for being selected in the top of round 1. If he should fall to 15 (not likely) the Dolphins should very much consider making Jones a part of their plans. A speedy WR and legit return man could make Miami’s offense explode.
But I still would like to see the team trade down.