Arkansas fourth-year junior quarterback Ryan Mallett declared for the NFL draft on Thursday, and the announcement was met with mostly positive reactions. Mallett is a golden-armed passer with ideal size. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes in 2010, averaged 9.41 yards per throw, and compiled a 62:19 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his final two seasons under Bobby Petrino.
Albert Breer of NFL Network tosses cold water on the notion that Mallett is an ideal pro prospect, however, in a Friday column on NFL.com. Breer reports that Mallett’s draft stock will be adversely impacted by “off-field concerns.” Citing sources, Breer indicates that Mallett is unlikely to replace Andrew Luck as a potential No. 1 overall pick.
Breer does not go into detail about factors that may affect Mallett’s stock, but a quick Google search reveals that he was arrested for public intoxication as a third-year sophomore in March of 2009. It was Mallett’s first season eligible after a transfer from Michigan.
“I am very disappointed that Ryan Mallett put himself in a situation that doesn’t reflect positively on him or on our program,” Petrino stated at the time.
Mallett later pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge. While the arrest seems forgivable, it would not be surprising if more dirt on Mallett comes out prior to the draft. Breer seems pretty convinced that Mallett won’t be going as early in the draft as many have projected, and the comparison of Mallett to Ryan Leaf has been made more than once.