Continuing our series of evaluating the potential draft-eligible quarterbacks who could be selected by the Tennessee Titans later this month, today, we'll take a look at former Arkansas Razorback flame-thrower Ryan Mallett.
Despite possessing perhaps the strongest arm in the draft while also having experience running a pro-style offense in college, the expectation of many mock drafters is that Mallett probably isn't going to hear his name called until the second round.
If he's available and the Titans go outside of the QB position with their first-rounder, should they take a flyer on Mallett with pick #39?
Why the Titans should draft him
Despite the negatives surrounding him (we'll touch on that later) Mallett is arguably the quarterback in this year's draft class best suited to make the earliest impact.
He's your quintessential pocket-passer who if surrounded by a sturdy pass-protecting offensive line, can make all the throws needed to attain success in the NFL. Mallett is more than adept at making the deep throws and also displays a high level of accuracy on intermediate routes.
If he can keep his head on straight, Mallett has the potential to be quite a steal for some team drafting in the late-first/early second round.
Why the Titans should pass
As I briefly mentioned earlier, there's certainly some red flags surrounding Mallett's NFL future.
Mallett's draft stock has dropped mostly due to possible maturity/character issues. Sure, he has all of the talent in the world but at the all-important position of quarterback, there's certainly a risk involved depending on a guy who lacks the maturity to be a leader.
On the gridiron, Mallet's biggest flaw is his lack of athleticism. Standing at 6'7", Mallet can be described as statue-esque and lacks the wheels to consistently make throws on the run or escape the pursuit of defenders while venturing out of his comfort zone also known as the pocket.
If the Titans go defensive tackle/end with pick #8, if he's still around, Mallett could easily be one of the quarterbacks the team considers in the second round. However, talented and tall quarterbacks with an howlitzer-of-an-arm don't grow on trees, so there's a good chance some NFL franchise will take a chance on Mallett at the end of the first round.
If he's available, Mallett would be an intriguing option. He could learn the ropes and sit behind the veteran signal-caller the Titans attain once free agency/trades begin and a couple of years down the road, turn into quite the NFL quarterback.
At pick #39, Mallett would provide the best of both worlds in terms of the draft: He'd fulfill an obvious team need and at that juncture, could very easily be the best player available.
Despite his flaws, I'd have no problem with the Titans willing to take a chance on a guy with Mallett's talent outside of the first round.