Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has first-round talent, according to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock.
“Mallett has unbelievable god given ability to throw a football,” Mayock said on a conference call Thursday. “When he has a clear pocket, and clear vision, there’s no one in the game better.”
That doesn’t mean Mayock would take Mallett in the first round.
“I would be very concerned about taking him in the first round,” Mayock said.
Mayock didn’t even cite the questions about Mallett’s nebulous off-field issues that some analysts have referred to. Mayock was more concerned about Mallett’s ability to process information on the field.
“Every time I get excited about this kid, he does something from a decision-making or accuracy perspective that bothers me,” Mayock said. “When he goes bad, it’s because of pressure in the pocket.”
Ultimately, Mallett sounds like a boom-or-bust pick. That’s why Mayock wouldn’t take him until the second round.
The history of the NFL draft, however, says that some QB-needy team will convince themselves to take a true first-round talent with their first pick.