Scouting Report: Ryan Mallett
Mallett possesses one of the strongest arms in all of football, and has nearly unlimited upside. However, the former Razorback is extremely raw and needs refining in many areas of his game. Bobby Petrino’s offensive scheme allowed Mallett to make many short, simple throws with few reads and Mallett will need to adjust to an NFL offense upon being drafted. With his enormous potential, Mallett could be a late first round pick, but character concerns and erratic accuracy will likely drop him into the second round.
In 2010, Mallett’s decision making struggled despite a relatively simple offensive scheme. At times he forced the ball into coverage too much and threw a relatively high 12 interceptions. Overconfidence is his biggest fault, and he often thinks he can make a big play when it simply isn’t there. Mallett does a good job of reading coverages and his mistakes are rarely due to lack of awareness. However, Mallett did struggle when facing pro style defenses such as Ohio State, and his decision making will need reworking in the NFL.
With one of the strongest arms in the recent memory of the draft, Mallett’s best attribute is his arm strength. There is no throw on the field that he can’t make, whether it is a long bomb or a crossing route across the middle. While many quarterbacks struggle with the deep out, Mallett effortlessly makes the throw. Occasionally, Mallett will make a jaw dropping throw down the field, demonstrating his incredible potential. With his less than stellar accuracy, Mallett uses his spectacular arm strength to sneak the ball into tight coverages.
Mallett’s biggest flaw as a quarterback is definitely his accuracy. Fulfilling the stereotype of the big armed quarterback, Mallett struggles with accuracy on short routes. He has a tendency to gun the ball over the receiver’s head, and his lack of finesse sometimes gets him in trouble. Even on a simple pass, Mallett will put too much into throw and the ball will sail on him, missing the receiver. Especially poor on the move, Mallett loses virtually all of his accuracy when out of the pocket.
Mallett has a good, over the top throwing motion with a quick release. However, his footwork leaves much to be desired. He looks uncomfortable dropping back, and took the majority of his snaps out of the shotgun while at Arkansas. Often, he relies too much on his arm strength and doesn’t set his feet properly, many times throwing off his back foot. When moving in the pocket, Mallett will sometimes not reset his feet, leading to an inaccurate throw.
Mallett is among the least mobile quarterbacks in the draft. In fact, it could be argued that his lack of athleticism is the most limiting aspect in his game. Mallett is slow and incapable of avoiding the rush in the pocket. When a pass rusher gets close, Mallett will often accept the sack instead of trying to step up and keep the play alive. With his incredibly slow feet, he is not a threat outside of the pocket, and is virtually incapable of rolling out. Without a good offensive line, Mallett is likely to struggle.
Mallett has demonstrated a relatively quick release. Though it does not make up for his lack of mobility in the pocket, it does a good job of helping him to avoid pass rushers and limit sacks.
Concerns regarding Mallett’s character, including drug abuse, have been widespread. Though it is nothing more than speculation, it is something that could hurt Mallett’s draft stock. There have also been a myriad of incidents in which Mallett displayed questionable leadership, leading many to question his intangibles. Mallett originally started off at Michigan, playing behind Chad Henne. Once Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez as head coach, Mallett decided to leave the school, forcing him to sit out the 2008 season.
A two year starter at Arkansas, Mallett received plenty of playing time in his career. Mallett also saw some playing time at Michigan before leaving.
Mallett is just three credit hours away from completing his degree in Sociology and should graduate in the spring.
Awards & Honors
2010: All-SEC 2nd team. Premier Player of College Football Trophy Winner. SEC Offensive Player of the Week (vs South Carolina, Mississippi State).
2009: All-SEC 2nd team. Liberty Bowl MVP.
Prospect Video Clips
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