Here is my scouting report on Ryan Mallett. I still have one game left to watch of him plus the bowl game against Ohio State, but I have seen more than enough of him to get a feel for what he is capable of and what he needs to work on. Enjoy my scouting report!
Positives: He has a truly amazing combination of size and arm strength, he can make any throw he wants to with his rocket arm. He has the ability to put the ball where-ever he wants, and when he has time to throw he can really carve up a defense. He flashes the ability to go through progressions and seems comfortable checking down if he doesn’t see much developing downfield. He can also be patient when he has time in the pocket to wait for crossers and longer developing routes. He also flashes some nice anticipation on certain throws (almost always his first read though).
Negatives: Mallett more than anything is inconsistent in my opinion. He flashes elite ability but it comes and goes. He will make some fantastic throws and place the ball exactly where he needs to and then later he will throw a fastball two or three feet over his receivers’ head, throw to the wrong shoulder or throw off of his back foot and throw an inaccurate pass. He isn’t very mobile and he struggles to scramble to extend plays. He struggles with footwork a lot, and doesn’t look very comfortable doing three, five and seven step drops. He loves throwing off balance without setting his feet, and does not do a very good job of moving in the pocket and re-setting his feet to deliver an accurate throw. He also makes a lot more bad decisions than one might think considering his interception total. He could have easily had four interceptions against LSU (he had two), two against Georgia (he had none) and four against Alabama (he had three). He made a number of bad decisions in each of those games, a number of bad, off-balance throws and forced throws into coverage. He makes those poor decisions far too often, and he doesn’t make enough NFL progressions and throws in each game to make me comfortable with the risks he takes. The majority of his throws are easy throws underneath, screens or check-downs. There is also a serious concern that he could be a system QB, after all Brian Brohm was when he carved defenses up at Louisville when Petrino coached there. The best evidence for that idea is that Mallett’s back-up, Tyler Wilson, stepped in against Auburn this year when Mallett went down and threw for 332 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions and completed 73.5% of his passes. That makes my “system QB” alarm go off.
Overall: Mallett has a boatload of potential. If he can clean up his footwork, improve his decision making, eliminate some of his erratic accuracy (which starts with footwork more than anything) and adjust to a pro-style offense then he could be a quality NFL QB. However, that is a laundry list of pretty difficult things for a QB prospect to do. I worry that he is a system QB, I don’t like his questionable decision making, his inconsistent accuracy and ball placement, and I don’t like how many easy throws he is asked to make all game versus NFL throws that require timing, zip and accuracy. I personally think Mallett is overrated as a NFL prospect.
Projection: I would be surprised if Mallett didn’t go in the first round because of his immense potential, but I don’t think he will ever live up to it. I think he is a top 20 pick and while he may seem like a top 10 lock right now he may slide as teams start to dissect his tape more intently. I personally wouldn’t draft him in round one, but I don’t think he is anything close to a franchise QB either.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
ARM STRENGTH: 5.0
DECISION MAKING: 2.5
POCKET AWARENESS: 3.5
Hopefully you enjoyed the scouting report, I took copious amounts of notes on Mallett when I was scouting him. I’ll havemore reports coming up soon!
Thanks for reading!