Sunday, 3 January 2010

Mallett's performance emphasises pro's and con's

Ryan Mallett did enough to help Arkansas win the Liberty Bowl 20-17 against East Carolina. I discussed yesterday his inconsistency in big games and how it's affected his completion percentage. He made only 41.7% of his passes against the Pirates, throwing for 202 yards and a touchdown. Arkansas didn't convert a single third down all night and struggled mightily in the red zone - all criticisms of Mallett in the past.

However, at the same time he was severely let down by his receivers for most of the game. He flashed that big arm, made all the throws. His accuracy was an improvement from what I've seen in the past. Sure - there were a few over thrown passes. But in general there were also some very good throws, threading a needle - putting it into the right kind of places. Mallett always presents a nice tight spiral and his throwing action is very good (he's 6'7" but releases the ball well over his head, probably at around 7'0"+).

It was also pleasing to see him take the majority of his snaps from under center. He moved around well - something that's concerned me in the past. That was an unexpected positive in what was overall a game in which we generally learnt nothing new. Mallett can make every throw - we knew that. He's got ideal size - we knew that. His accuracy can suffer in short-mid range - we knew that.

Brandon Marcello reports that Mallett wasn't prepared to reveal after the game whether he'll declare. I still think he's going to head for the NFL draft and possibly go earlier than I initially thought. Out of all the QB's in the 2010 class who are likely to be available, I think Mallett would be the one I'd be most willing to invest in. You don't have to concern yourself with his mechanics and he's carrying a NFL frame. His arm strength will demand respect and although he needs to refine his technique and polish that accuracy - I think he'll also benefit playing with better receivers.

Every college quarterback could use an extra year's seasoning. Mallett's situation is unusual in that he transferred from Michigan and although he's been around for a while - he's still only a red shirt sophomore. Realistically he could play in Arkansas for two more years. In an ideal situation, he'd be working on becoming a more complete prospect in that time with the Razorbacks and not sat holding a clipboard. But we know the situation financially these players face. Jake Locker is bucking a trend and taking the same risk Sam Bradford did. I'm not convinced pro scouts and GM's will be satisfied with Bradford's durability issues after his year of injuries. Jimmy Clausen isn't the top pick some are projecting in my opinion. Ryan Mallett could be the X-Factor in the 2010 draft as far as quarterbacks go.

Elsewhere... Bryan Bulaga is likely to make a decision on whether he'll declare after the Orange Bowl on Tuesday, reports Marc Morehouse. I think it's almost certain Bulaga will head for the pro's.


Mike said...

I think it would be the best of all worlds if he declared, because he would drop to the end of the 1st if not the second round.

Rob Staton said...

I think he could go earlier than that. This is a quarterback league after all and I'm not sure teams will be convinced by Bradford's durability and Clausen in general. Mallett could go surprisingly early, we'll wait to see if he declares - I think he will.

Rob Staton said...

Just noticed Joe Haden's confirmed he'll declare. We kind of knew he would already - he admitted as much about ten days ago.

Anonymous said...

from texashawk,

My dad was telling me about a player on texas tech line who domintated suh this weekend who is this player? Is he a senior or junior who will declare?

Rob Staton said...

Did he mean the guy dominated Suh but on another weekend? Texas Tech took on Michigan State last night. I'll have a look and try to find some information for you texashawk.

Savage said...

I'm pretty certain that he is talking about Brandon Carter. He is a massive senior RG for Tech. 6-7 and 344. Not sure how he profiles in the NFL, but you'd imagine with that size he wouldn't be too great in the zone blocking system.

Mallet really intrigues me. He's got the prototypical size and arm. Again the accuracy is what is most concerning. I think he's a guy that if you improve the footwork, you'll see an improvement in accuracy. I guess a lot of it will come down to having your coaches work him out and see how far away the footwork and accuracy really is. IMO he's not worth the top pick, but the second 1st rounder is very much a possibility.

Rob Staton said...

Some very valid points there Savage. I think Mallett could have tremendous value if paired with a top class offensive coordinator. We saw how much Cam Cameron helped Joe Flacco settle. If Mallett can get that kind of mentor, he could be set for a good career.

ivotuk said...

Thanks for the report Rob. I have to give you and Kyle props for a very well done draft blog, my favorite as far as the Seahawks are concerned. I read a lot and have an insider account and have probably read every draft article they have put out. Of all of them I really like KC Joyner's work and I see comparable stuff here.

As for Mallett, my opinion of him went up after watching that game. I believe he has what it takes to be an NFL Superstar QB and only needs time and coaching. If he declares I believe we should take a flyer on him with the second 1st rounder and sit him.

I can envision him making deep throws and breaking tackles much like Ben R. I too was impressed when he rolled out but saw at least one play where had he set his feet he would have made a completion.

As for our draft, I think Bruce Campbell is the best LT out there but unless they find that they can keep him healthy, I wouldn't want to invest our #6 pick in him. IF they were sure he would stay healthy then I think he is worth the #6.

But otherwise I really hope we trade back and pick up extra 2nd and possibly 3rd round picks. As I stated in another thread, last year the scouts were saying that the 2010 draft would be laden with talent, and that was before the CBA collapsed, causing even more underclassmen to declare. I am of the opinion that many of this years 2nd round picks will have as much, if not more talent than some of last years 1st rounders. I think we could still find starters in the 3rd round should we end up getting one in trade.

Keep it up guys, you're making a lot of Seahawk fans happy!

Ray :)

Rob Staton said...

Thanks for the kind words Ray - really appreciated.

I want to try and get some substantial tape on Bruce Campbell - along with Jerry Hughes he's the only prospect in my first round mock draft I'm going off reports from other sources because I just haven't seen enough of him to form a valid, fair opinion myself.

Mallett intrigues me. I think he could go top ten - he has the tools. Comparisons to Big Ben are fair in terms of size, arm strength. I think Mallett's mechanics are better but he probably won't elude pressure as well. Give him a good coordinator and I think he has big time potential. Yes he's raw, but we have to accept these days that more and more QB's will leave early for the financial benefits. You're not going to get the perfect QB prospect leaving college and if you are - they'll go first overall.