April 14th, 2011 10:29 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Arkansas
Tags: Miami, NFL, Ricky Stanzi, Tim Graham
The Miami Herald reports that former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett will visit the Dolphins’ team headquarters today and tomorrow. This after he “impressed the Dolphins (in a recent meeting).”
The Dolphins have spent extra time with Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Ricky Stanzi, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, but when all is said and done, they may spend more hours with Mallett than any other quarterback on their board.
There’s debate over Mallett’s overall value, however. Some draft gurus project him as a second-round pick. Others see him as a legitimate possibility for Miami at the #15 spot in the first round.
Tim Graham of ESPN.com said yesterday that Dolphin fans might be able to relate to the former Razorback:
Mallett enters the NFL with multiple question marks despite a rifle arm and prolific statistics in a pro-style offense. Drug rumors have been persistent. On the field, he’s considered sloth-like in his movements. All the same was said about Dan Marino.
But Armando Salguero of The Herald doesn’t believe Mallett will be Miami’s guy, at least not in the first round. Here’s why:
There are also whispers — and they haven’t diminished, but rather have increased — about his unimpressive leadership qualities. … Frankly, the rumblings I’m hearing is that Mallett shrank in big moments during games and did it time and again. When the pressure was on most, he stepped tentatively.
So what does Mallett have to say about those ongoing drug and leadership rumors? “I don’t think I’ve met any of the guys that do those mock drafts or anything,” he told South Florida radio station WAXY-AM today. “They don’t know what we’re like personally. They don’t know anything about our leadership skills, on or off the field. That’s why I think it’s funny to me.”
It might be funny to Mallett, but the big game critique is a legitimate one. I don’t know that I’d lump that under the title “leadership,” but there’s no question Mallett’s best days came against weaker competition. Against the best teams, he occasionally made killer mistakes — last year versus Alabama and Ohio State for example.
Mallett’s got the tools and build to star in the NFL. And until someone provides more than innuendo, the drugs and “bad leader” talk doesn’t worry us here at MrSEC.com.
But the big game stuff? That’s a concern.
Question is: Will all of those concerns be enough to push Mallett out of the first round? Or might the Dolphins really grab him earlier than most people project?
UPDATE — ESPN.com’s Elizabeth Merrill has posted a new (and long) story on Mallett, his background, and his NFL potential.
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