Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, The Draft Study
Arkansas and the 2011 off-season
In 2008, Michigan got a new head coach, Rich Rodriguez. “Rich-Rod”, as he’s affectionately called, came to Michigan from West Virginia where he was famous for his run-spread-option offense. The reason this offense was so successful was due to QB Pat White who is the only QB in NCAA history to go 4-0 in bowl games. White was the perfect fit for this offense as he was as much a runner as a thrower. Imagine having a receiver that could throw.
Following a pattern here, Chad Henne (Mallets predecessor at Michigan) was drafted in the second round by the Miami Dolphins. Pat White (Rich-Rod’s QB before Mallet) was taken in the second round by the Dolphins. Most mock drafts at this point have Mallet going to the Dolphins, but in the first round.
Regardless, with the new run-spread-option offense that Rich-Rod was bringing in, Mallet felt forced to transfer. Mallet is not made for this type of offense. Mallet is a stand-in-the-pocket QB. He has a rocket-like arm and stone-like agility. He only works well in the pro-style system. Here’s a quote from his dad about the transfer:
“Different system, can’t do anything about that,” Jim Mallett said.”Had to find somewhere Ryan would fit in.”
As you can see, coach/dad knows best.
It turns out that the transfer was a great move. After sitting out 2008 due to the transfer, Mallet came back in 2009 to torch record books and with the national spotlight more aimed upon the SEC than ever, Mallet was given every opportunity to shine in front of everyone that would watch.
Heres Arkansas, year 1: 225/403, 3,627 yards, 55.8% completion, 9.0 Yards Per Attempt, 30 TD’s, 7 INT
He was becoming a star. A sure lock for the Heisman and a chance at a national title, Mallet returned for his junior season.
Arkansas, year 2: 266/411, 3,869 yards, 64.7% completion, 9.41 YPA, 32 TD, 12 INT
Mallet won neither the Heisman nor the national title. Was it a failed year? Let me ask you this, If any high-profile player experiences only two losses in a season, normally its a good year, or maybe an expected year. Malletts only two losses were against Alabama and Auburn, apparently the state of Alabama has something against him, but luckily there is no NFL team there.
So Mallett and the Razorbacks lose to Alabama, defending national champion, and Auburn, eventual national champion. If you’re going to lose, that’s the two to lose too. Although Mallett threw 3 TD’s against arguably the best defense in football (Alabama) and only threw 25 times against Auburn (due to a concussion), I still consider Mallett a top prospect.