Ryan Mallet entered his final college football season as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play at the University of Arkansas. Now Mallet is looking an awful lot like an NFL bust who will follow in the footsteps of quarterback flameouts like Ryan Leaf.
Mallet was picked up by the New England Patriots in 2011 as what some thought would be a grooming to make Ryan the heir apparent to the aging Tom Brady.
It doesn’t appear Mallet is ready to step into that role, or the role of an NFL backup quarterback at all if his recent preseason performance is any indication. Mallett has become such a burden for the team, there were plenty who believed his recent outing was more of a way to showcase Ryan for a trade to another team.
That showcase didn’t go very well as the quarterback completed just 5 of 12 passes for 55 yards and often looked tentative in the pocket. It should be noted the action this week was the most game action Ryan has seen for quite some time.
Others would point out this is one of the reasons the comparisons to Ryan Leaf are unfair. Mallett might have been a big time prospect in college, but he wasn’t handed the reins to a franchise the way Leaf was.
Still, the numbers he put up in college and the scouting reports surrounding Mallett initially recall the Washington State passer who looked like a sure thing out of the college ranks.
The off-field comparisons between the two quarterbacks are where the real concerns should surface. The former WSU’s run-ins with the law since his release from the NFL have been well documented.
Ryan Mallett has had plenty of problems staying away from the police even before setting foot on an NFL field. The Arkansas star’s draft stock dropped quite a bit because of “off the field concerns.”
Back in the present, the Boston Herald points out that Mallett wasn’t offered much help in his first preseason game. The entire New England Patriots team looked rather unimpressive for most of the time Mallett was out there.
Whether or not Mallett can turn around his career in a way Ryan Leaf was never able is still not known. Perhaps he can still make himself a bit of a career as someone who can be a backup.
Considering the talent Ryan Mallett entered the league with, that wouldn’t be the best outcome, but it would be better than the direction he’s currently heading.