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No Questions About Mallett’s Arm After Pro Day, Just His Legs

Unlike Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett wowed scouts with this passing ability at the NFL combine in February.  So it was no surprise that his arm once again drew praise at Arkansas’ Pro Day yesterday.

Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network said Mallett was “absolutely sensational” during his workouts.  How good was his showing?  Brooks claims some scouts and coaches were comparing Mallett to Dan Fouts and Dan Marino.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock says Mallett is the most pro-ready QB in the draft. 

But here’s the bad news for the former Hog: A 40-yard dash time of 5.37 seconds.  In case you’re wondering, that’s “lineman-slow.” sums things up as follows for Mallett:

There are character questions about Mallett, and his plodding 40-yard dash time may have some teams wondering whether his lack of athleticism could hold him back in the NFL.  But there’s no question that his arm is incredible.

Our view:

Slow-as-Christmas guys like Fouts, Marino and Drew Bledsoe won an awful lot of games and threw for a boat-load of yards during their NFL careers.  But the game has changed quite a bit in the past decade.  Pass rushers are faster than ever and it’s tough to be a statue in the pocket in today’s NFL.

Now, does that mean we wouldn’t grab Mallett if we were running a team?  Based on his on-field talents, no.  We’d snap him up.  But we’d try to build an offensive line around him like Peyton Manning’s got in Indy.  Manning’s no speed merchant, either, but with a great line in front of him and a quick release, he’s rarely even touched.

For the lead-footed Mallett, going later in the draft might actually be best for him in the long run.  The farther he falls in the first round, the better the team — and the O-line — he’ll get to play with early in his career.

If he goes early, he’ll likely go to a bad team where his internal clock could get screwed up as he takes weekly beatings (a la David Carr).  And if he does have leadership issues, those could be exposed if he goes to a Bengals-like, hopeless franchise.

In Mallett’s case, he should be hoping for less money up front… in exchange for a better team to play for long-term.


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