Full Scouting Report: Ryan Mallett

The Patriots selected QB Ryan Mallett in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft. According to NFL Expert Dave Te' Thomas, Mallett is a major work in progress. "Whoever drafts him will need to make sure they have an outstanding offensive line to protect him," wrote Thomas. For the massive scouting report on Mallett get inside.

Player School Year Entered Position
Ryan Mallett Arkansas (2008)

Michigan (2007)

2007 Quarterback
Height Weight Time (20) Time (10)
6:06.6 253 3.06 1.84
20-yd Shuttle 60-yd Shuttle Vertical Jump Broad Jump
4.36 24" 8'7"
Bench Press Arms Wing Span Position Pro Rank
225x20 34 3/8" 82" 8
2010 Best Games Tennessee Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
2010 Worst Games Alabama, Auburn, Louisiana State, Ohio State
2009 Best Games Missouri State, Georgia, Texas A&M, Eastern Michigan, South Carolina, Troy
2009 Worst Games Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, East Carolina
Body Structure Mallett has a very tall and thick frame, looking more like a tight end than a quarterback, He has an exceptional wing span with long arms and towers over defensive lineman, making it better for him to scan the field. He lacks athleticism on the move, but has the thick thighs and calves, along with the strength to break tackles as a ball carrier. With his big frame, good chest thickness with adequate muscle definition, broad shoulders and long limbs, he has reached maximum growth capacity and will have to monitor his weight, as additional bulk will impact his marginal foot speed.
General Report
Athletic Ability Mallett might lack foot speed, but like Ben Roethlisberger, he has that thick, strong natural frame to stand tall in the pocket and withstand constant punishment. He is a marginal runner with no quickness whatsoever, but for a player with his size, he shows good body control and enough ability to avoid the bull rush (needs to show better vision locating edge rushers though). He has marginal change-of-direction agility and is not athletic enough to avoid quick pressure in the pocket. He shows a lively arm and despite a lack of speed, is efficient on the roll-out and can throw to his right and left with no loss in accuracy while on the move. He is just not the type that will win any foot races if he is flushed out of the pocket. He keeps his feet under him to make all the throws, showing good balance and body control stepping up in the pocket. He is a big, strong pocket passer who is sturdy in the pocket, but flashes little or no acceleration on the move.
Football Sense Mallett has good academic intelligence, but he is prone for showing too much confidence in his arm strength, making throws into a crowd that should never occur (see 2010 Alabama and LSU and 2009 Mississippi State games). Even with his tall stature and over-the-top release, he will sidearm at times, resulting in 83 of his throws getting deflected the last two seasons. He is a classic drop-back quarterback in the Carson Palmer mold, but must realize he has to make quicker decisions uncorking the ball, thanks to his marginal quickness. He can find and locate his secondary targets and is the type that will put in the extra hours in the film room and practices to improve. He does well in the classroom and his test score indicates he is capable of taking the plays from the board to the field. Still, in 2010, he regressed quite a bit in recognizing defensive schemes (see 2010 Alabama and LSU games). Possibly due to poor blocking up front, but he spent a considerable amount of his time avoiding the pass rush and the result was a lot of forced passes, causing his interception total to rise to seven in 2009 to 12 in 2010. He does not do a good job of sensing pressure and will get too impatient waiting for his targets to get free when flushed out of the pocket. He locks on to his primary receivers too often and shows marginal awareness to adjust when on the move.
Character Mallett could be this year's poster child for lots of trash talk from talent evaluators. He seems very defensive and "beats around the bush" when talking to teams about off-field issues and you have to wonder if he might be a Ryan Leaf-type of player who will fail to take command in the huddle or gain proper respect in the locker room.
Competitiveness Mallett is a tough player who frequently had to throw under duress behind a suspect offensive line. He will stand tall in the pocket, take the hit and is not afraid to challenge the defenders when running with the ball. But, there are lots of "meltdowns" on the field when things don't go his way. He's had issues with the coaching staff during his days at Michigan and has rubbed more than a few people the "wrong way" with his air of cockiness. He is too inconsistent with his rallying ability to be labeled a "can't miss" prospect that his arm strength deserves. The coaching staff says he has good physical toughness, but there is a question of his mental toughness. He has yet to produce under pressure with any consistency. He is not afraid to step up into the pocket and displays a winning attitude on the field, but is woefully inconsistent with his decision making and has thrown too many foolish passes (interceptions and deflections) to be considered reliable in running a pro team. He has control of the huddle and shows aggression on the field, but lacks the field savvy to be looked upon as a leader.
Work Habits Mallett is a good student with solid work habits. He will put in the extra hours in the film room, but does not really "rally the troops" to drive home the point that he is an efficient and consistent leader. Sit down and talk to this kid and you leave with the impression that football is important to him, but you will wonder if he will own up to his mistakes, both on and off the field. He is not really considered a true leader on the field, but does a good job of controlling the huddle.
Athletic Report
Set Up For a player honed in a pro-style offense, Mallett takes a high amount of his snaps from shotgun formation, perhaps to hide the fact that he has little-to-no foot speed in driving back from the center to his pass set point quickly. He gets most of his success from three-step drops, thanks to his long legs, but lacks the foot quickness a QB might need to take longer drops at the next level. He just seems to lack any sort of quickness setting up in the pocket. When throwing from the shotgun, he shows decent fluidity in his pass drop and set up. He needs to show better mobility to set up faster, but displays good balance and footwork. While he has good lower body mechanics, he needs to improve his upper body movements. He does not move around much, but has just enough long stride to set and fire before the defense can generate much pressure.
Reading Defenses Mallett's increased interception total in 2010 was the result of his impatience and inability to locate his secondary targets. He gets stuck on the primary receiver often and seems to lack keen awareness to avoid the blitz. He is especially prone to having major "meltdowns" under constant pressure. He has the ideal size to tower over defenders and scan the field, but he has to recognize his outlet receivers better. When he utilizes the shotgun, he is much more effective at delivering on the hot route. The problems occur when he gets flushed out of the pocket, as he has no athleticism or foot speed to avoid defenders on the move. He has good overhead mechanics, but when he carries the ball low, it greatly slows down his delivery.
Release Mallett's ability to fire the ball out quickly compensates for his lack of foot speed. He has no problem firing the deep ball, even when throwing off his back foot, but with his size, wingspan, long arms and over-the-top release, he should not have had 83 of his passes batted down the last two years. He does have a bit of a windmill-like windup, but his overhead release gets the ball to come off his fingers with good explosion. He has shown marked improvement making his throws stepping up in the pocket (see 2010 Louisiana-Monroe and Texas-El Paso games), but when flushed out of the pocket, he relies too much on his arm strength (lacks balance and body control on the move) to make those plays, rather than demonstrate classic body torque and mechanics. When he does set his feet at the outside hashes, he flashes a compact, and easy throwing motion, and can zip it in between closing defenders, but too often, he won't set his feet, holds the ball too long, takes a long wind up, and sprays the ball.
Arm Strength Mallett has one of the strongest arms in the game, at any level. He is quite effective at generating enough zip on his underneath throws to hit his targets in stride. The ball simply explodes out of his hands. He knows how to put enough zip on his throws to thread the needle and made a very nice "living" with opening his shoulder and firing bullets down field. When given time to throw, he shows above average velocity and ability to reach the receiver and certainly has the strength to throw deep. It is his poor judgment that often negates his arm power, though, as he will force throws, make receivers work hard to get to some of his deep tosses and takes a little off his passes when he throws off the back foot or has to make plays on the move. Still, he throws into coverage often and this resulted in a higher amount of interceptions in 2010. He can throw the deep ball with touch and velocity, if given time to set up in the pocket. Even when he throws off his back foot, there is not much loss of force, but when he steps off his front foot, he can generate much better ball speed.
Accuracy When Mallent stays balanced, he can fire any pass to any area on the field. He has classic release and delivery mechanics in the pocket. He does throw the long ball with great zip, but has to learn there are times he would make the completion if he just takes a little bit off the ball. He is very consistent with his fade tosses and on comeback routes. His tosses will sail over the receiver's head when he fails to set his feet and this happens more often when he does not amp down his velocity on intermediate routes. Slants, crosses and post patterns are where he generates his most success. With those long legs of his, he struggles quite a bit to reset when having to throw on the move. On the long ball, he knows how to give the receiver a chance to compete, putting good zip on the ball to loft it over his target's shoulders, but in 2010, he put the ball up for grabs too much and his deep throws floated quite a bit (see Alabama, Mississippi and LSU games). In those games, even when he tried to fire the ball into the numbers, he sprayed the ball going for the "home run" play.
Touch Mallett has more than enough arm strength to lay the ball into the receiver's hands on deep routes. He needs to vary that speed throwing intermediate patterns, though, as the ball will sail away at times. He is still a work in progress when trying to throw a catchable ball underneath, but flashes above average placement and touch to get the ball to the outside shoulder of his deep target. He refined his mechanics a bit during the 2010 off-season and was throwing the ball with a better arc and tighter spiral going over the middle, but is still prone to forcing the issue, as eight of his twelve pass thefts came over the middle of the field in 2010. He is like two different players – quite effective at distributing the ball when he has time to throw, but once he faces constant pressure, it is anyone's guess what will happen next. When that occurs, he will often hold the ball too long and throw it late, resulting in his receivers really never knowing who he is going to throw too, because he is too inconsistent scanning the field. He just forces too many ill-advised passes, causing in his targets constantly making downfield adjustments.
Poise Mallett is not the greatest decision maker and has too much of a "gambler" in him to conform to a conservative passing game. He does not have the athleticism to avoid pressure and while he shows good ball security, he will rely on his strong arm too much, unleashing passes into a crowd that never seem to result in good things happening. Go back and look at his performances vs. Alabama and Ohio State in 2010 and you can see that he can be easily rattled. He will get impatient and rush his throws, but he also has enough strength to step up in the pocket and absorb punishment. He just has stretches where he fails to wait for his targets to get open. It is not like he has "happy feet," as even he knows he won't win games running with the ball. He does show courage, but his impatience causes quite a bit of turnovers. He can slide around, but often falls away from the hit, and consequently hangs the ball up.
Leadership Mallett looks more like an "enlisted serviceman" than a "field general." Like Jay Cutler, he gets too caught up in the idea that his strong arm will bail him out of trouble. He tries to be a leader, but he has yet to show take-charge ability. Despite his decision making, he is a smart kid who manages the game and the huddle well, but needs to be more patient. His teammates fail to respond when he gets agitated and you have to wonder if he can be accountable enough and the type to cover the back of a teammate when the chips are down.
Pocket Movement Mallett looks like a "glacier" moving around in the pocket and this has to be his worst trait. He has no suddenness to escape pressure and seems to lose patience with his targets when he's forced to throw on the move. In a short spurt, he can make the intermediate throws from either hash, but when he has to generate a long haul out of the pocket, his accuracy greatly suffers. With his long legs and stride, he will never be able to plant and drive or suddenly redirect. For a player of his size, he can't slide in pocket to avoid pressure. Standing in the pocket is where he shows the body control and balance to keep the play alive while waiting for his targets to get open. He does not always sense where pressure is coming from and while he will stand touch and get the ball off, he will force more than a few into traffic, resulting in costly interceptions. He may not have the quickness to escape tacklers, but will not hesitate to stiff-arm and drive with his legs to get extra yardage when forced to run, though (only two lost fumbles on 102 carries).
Scrambling Ability Mallett scrambling is like me being on the cover of GQ Magazine – it is simply not going to happen. He throws with just adequate velocity on the move and is never going to win any foot races. He shows marginal ability to run with the ball in the short area and can be taken down when attempting to run around the corner. He just seems to run too tall and has too deliberate of a stride to become much of a threat down field. His accuracy suffers considerably when he tries to throw on the moves. When flushed out of the pocket, he improvises too much at the X's and this causes his receivers to constantly break off their routes. He has only marginal ability to locate his targets when flushed out of the pocket.
 
Summation Mallett has one of the strongest arms in the game, but shows little mobility and avoidance skills. Teams are not too enamored with his penchant for the "home run" ball and his long stride, big frame and slow feet will allow a defense to gain confidence that he can not be any sort of a threat running with the ball. He is prone to making foolish mistakes and forcing the issue when under constant pressure.

There are concerns about him off the field and his attitude, when challenged with those questions by teams, have a lot of talent evaluators questioning his overall maturity. There are also concerns that he might not be too coachable, stemming from some issues he had with the Michigan staff prior to transferring to Arkansas.

He makes too many mistakes when flushed out of the pocket, but when given time to throw, he can connect from any area on the field. He has marginal agility when asked to move around in the pocket, showing little ability to run and buy time when the pocket collapses. He simply lacks the timed speed to win any foot races.

When pressured, Mallett tends to throw off his back foot too much and needs to revert to planting and driving off his front foot more to get better velocity behind his attempts. He does try to force the ball when protection breaks down, but he has the strength to stand in vs. the blitz and take a lot of hits.

Mallett has the arm strength to make all the throws (posts, flats, outs and on the move) and his overall accuracy is good, especially when given time to throw. He is a heady passer, but needs to make better progression reads. He will get a little too brave, at times, throwing the ball into traffic, but he has a live arm to take that risk, if he can maintain velocity behind his tosses.

Even when given good protection, Mallet will still commit to a route and throw blindly. He then tries to roll out and throw on the move, but it is obvious that he is better suited for being a pocket passer. He has that lively arm, toughness and intelligence to be a good competitor, and should benefit from a strong aerial game, but that team better make sure the only time he leaves the pocket is to celebrate in the end zone after a touchdown.

Compares To CARSON PALMER-Cincinnati…There is no question that Mallett's arm strength is on par with that of Baltimore's Joe Flacco. He towers over defenders and has great size, but he's slow footed and with that long stride of his, he's never going to be able to escape pressure with any consistency. Whoever drafts him will need to make sure they have an outstanding offensive line to protect him, as he will never be a threat throwing on the move. While his passing ability is likened to Palmer's, some of his poor decisions and inability to keep his cool under pressure have other evaluators seeing a bit of Derek Anderson (Arizona) in his game.

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