5) Ryan Mallett, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Ryan Mallett’s career has taken some twists and turns after being one of the highly touted quarterbacks prior to the 2012 NFL Draft. He ultimately fell to the third round before the New England Patriots picked him and made him Tom Brady‘s backup. A quick trade to the Houston Texans, a missed flight after that, and Mallett was suddenly playing for the Baltimore Ravens.
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Quarterback isn’t a major priority for the Ravens so it wouldn’t be shocking to see them move on from Mallett. He hasn’t been there long and Joe Flacco isn’t going anywhere. If Mallett wants to move up in the NFL he needs to find a place where he can step in after a struggling starter falters or he can enter a quarterback competition.
That makes a connection with the Jacksonville Jaguars a bit more appealing. While there’s no guarantee that Jacksonville would become just another chance for Mallett to sit behind another quarterback, opportunity hovers over the position.
Just 3-5 as a starter, Mallett hasn’t settled into a place where he can actually develop as a passer. He has thrown seven interceptions to 10 interceptions and has completed just 55 percent of his passes. When playing for the Ravens Mallett is 1-1 as a starter and has 59.8 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions, suggesting he may be a better quarterback with a stronger supporting cast.
If Mallett can do some damage with gifted receivers, he may find a comfortable home with the Jags. There’s no guarantee he’ll actually be anything more than a backup again, but he does have the opportunity to become something more if he can prove that he can make plays with guys like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.