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.