Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Will Mallett follow Locker's lead?

The big question in the aftermath of Jake Locker's decision not to enter the 2010 draft is will this push other underclassmen quarterback's to declare? We saw Mark Sanchez take advantage last year, making a last minute decision shortly after Sam Bradford announced he'd be staying with Oklahoma. In the end, Sanchez ended up going fifth overall to the Jets whilst Bradford spent the year nursing a shoulder injury.

Jimmy Clausen has already made his intentions clear that he'll head for the draft, whilst Bradford has also said he will enter the NFL. But is Locker's removal from contention enough to make another prospect - such as Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett - head for the pro's?

Bobby Petrino was pretty dismissive when pressed on the Mallett issue. Clearly it's an issue that's been discussed. I've felt for some time that one of Locker or Mallett would enter the draft. In Mallett's case, he has the tools capable of being a very good pro-QB: big arm, capable of making a good range of throws and ideal size. However, he's struggled against good opponents this year when his accuracy has been particularly wayward. Against Florida, he was missing wide open receivers in the end zone from ten yards out one minute and throwing deep, accurate bombs for a big TD the next.

He could use another year of seasoning, but then what quarterback wouldn't? Mallett appears to have solid family support and perhaps won't feel any financial pressures. But the temptation will always be there and having transferred from Michigan to start for the Razorbacks, he might feel now is the time to turn pro. We'll probably have to wait until after the Liberty Bowl against East Carolina to learn his decision, but it's unclear at this stage whether Mallett's future is in Arkansas or the NFL.


texashawk said...


I was speaking to my father who follows college football much more then I do. He was very excited about the QB from Oregon. Could you tell me about him. is he a sophomore, junior or senior? What are your impressions of him? Will he make a good pro? What rd whould he go in at this point in your opinion?

Rob Staton said...

Hi Texashawk, great to hear from you.

The quarterback from Oregon is Jeremiah Masoli. He's a junior and will almost certainly return for his senior season in 2011. He's one of the most entertaining QB's to watch in college football and is perfect for the Ducks scheme which allows him to run and throw and make a lot of different plays. As a pro prospect, I would be surprised if he generated much consideration from the NFL. He's under sized at 5'11 and 210lbs and isn't the prototype pro style QB. Teams looking to implement some wildcat into their packages might take some late round consideration, but he appears destined to be a very very good college QB and not a starting NFL QB.

Just in case you were referencing the QB at Oregon State - Sean Canfield - he appears a much more likely pro prospect. A senior who will enter the 2010 draft, he's an intriguing prospect. I've been impressed when I've seen him (three times this year) when he's performed admirably against good teams (but never managed to get the Beavers accross the line). He's a left armer, which usually puts me off... but he's shown an ability to make throws and generate a passing game. He could get interest from a team like Denver that operates in a short passing shotgun system and I certainly would be more prepared to take a chance on Canfield in rounds 3-4 than I would be Colt McCoy.

Savage said...

I deifnately hope Mallett declares because I think he may offer the best value that we could find at QB with the late 1st or early 2nd round pick. He can make all the throws and appears to make the correct reads. I also am worried about his accuracy problems against top competition. How much of this do you think could be improved by correcting his footwork Rob? I know that is a flaw of his. Sitting behind Hasselbeck for 2 years could give him time to improve it.

In addition, he ranks 2nd in the nation in yards per attempt at 9.3, which shows he has the ability to stretch the field. That is something the Seahawks truely lack right now and could help open up the rest of the offense.

I think an ideal situation would be to trade our top 10 pick to a team in the mid teens to pick up Spiller, while getting a 3rd rounder in return to replace the one spent on Butler last year. Then take Mallet with the Denver pick and the best o-line guy availible in the 2nd round. 3rd round could be used for safety help or BPA.

Rob Staton said...

Hey savage,

I think his footwork is an issue that needs to be addressed - he's at that Joe Flacco stage where a three-five step drop is completely foreign to him. Flacco did very well to adjust as a rookie, Mallett won't necessarily have the same success.

I'm not sure the issues I have with him are footwork ones when it comes to accuracy. He needs to learn to take the heat off sometimes - he'll over shoot an open receiver in the end zone from 8-9 yards out. That's poise, it's calm under pressure and touch. They're not always things that can be taught, teams will really have to work Mallett over and watch the tape to decide if it's too much of an issue.

But on the plus side, as you rightly say he's a field stretcher. One reason Seattle's offense is so over worked these days and therefore struggling is the fact nobody fears being beat deep against the 'Hawks. They'll commit and gamble extra men up front knowing there's neither the elite receiver nor the big arm to beat them. A big arm for a big arm's sake isn't what's required, but if the Seahawks are looking at Mallett as an option he is capable of making 'all the throws' as they say.

It should be interesting to see what Mallett decides. I expect to hear something after the Liberty Bowl.

Anonymous said...

I look at Ryan Mallett and all I see is Dan McGwire. Ick!!

Rob, I see you have the Hawks passing on Okung in your latest mock... I'm wondering what fan reaction will be if they go another draft without getting a tackle early. There would probably be a lot of backlash, even if it were the right decision.

jason heyward said...

I think Mallett would be well-served to play another year at Arkansas. I think his accuracy is a real concern for NFL teams, and if he can improve his percentage next season, he could make himself quite a bit of money.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - I'm not a big fan of Russell Okung. I think he's very over rated. He's a late first round value for me - not worthy of a top ten pick. I put him near the top because this isn't a good draft for offensive tackles. However, the premium on the position suggests the better guys will always go early. That could keep Okung in the top ten. However, don't be surprised if he has a Michael Oher-esque drop.

Andre Davis and Charles Brown are the two guys who intrigue me the most at offensive tackle. Davis needs to prove his weight worries are behind him and show some athletic qualities at the combine. Brown needs to add bulk and maintain his athleticism.

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