Is Ryan Mallett Really this Decade’s Ryan Leaf?



It seems every other draft NFL Draft or so, we get a “million dollar arm, ten cent head” prospect. (If I may borrow the line from “Bull Durham.”)

This year, it’s Arkansas and former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Ryan Mallett. Remember the character concerns about Jimmy Clausen last year? Take that amount and square it, no cube it, and the equation equals Mallett’s reputation and draft stock. His coarse, somewhat hostile interaction with the media at the combine drew comparisons to Ryan Leaf, (For more on how he ended up go here) who earned the nickname “baby boy” for his insanely immature public blow-ups.

Mallett has never tested positive on a drug test, but he’s supposedly the first QB ever to admit to using them in an interview with a NFL GM.

According to Larry Brown Sports:

there have been widespread rumors about Mallett’s drug use throughout college and an analyst saying Mallett is a “Caucasian street guy” like Eminem or Vanilla Ice. Even Mallett’s coach at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino, tried to improve Mallett’s slang because of concerns over image and appearance.

By Paul M. Banks


Now there’s another camp that believes Mallett’s issues could have just stemmed from simple mis-communication, and that perhaps he’s just not the best with texting and the latest in communication media. (Sounds like a lovely camp, I hope it has arts & crafts, and counselors who are friendly)

But Mallet does have a DUI on his record from ’09, and his background raised some red flags when he missed a meeting with the Carolina Panthers. He was rumored to have been out all night, and that was the “supposed” reason for his absence. His agent said Mallett was just sick.

The trials and tribulations of the tall, strong-armed signal caller inspired another jock with a history of alcohol infractions, Golfer John Daly, to give him some advice.

“I think the most important thing for Ryan is how he handles himself.  Whether it’s an interview or whatever, listen to the question before you answer it. Some of the things you are going to do off the field, think about the responsibilities.  Because I’ve learned the hard way.”

“It’s not about your talent anymore,” Daly said.  “It’s about what you do with it.”

So where does he end up? Where do all trouble children and NFL malcontents go? The Oakland Raiders.

According to Raiders Post

As the draft is just four days away, Mallett’s stock seems to be where it was at a couple of weeks ago: first round talent who could fall to the beginning of round three.


Back in Oakland, the Raiders currently have two quarterbacks on the roster: Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller, both former first round picks. Both are entering contract years.

Now we’re hearing a lot of talk about Mallett going somewhere in the first round, in the 20s. In one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory, he’s the prospect that should be the wildest card of all.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook


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  1. Ryan Mallet does not have a DUI on his record. It was public intoxication. Mallett is very intelligent, has a high football IQ, loves the game, and ran a pro offense in college. Ryan Leaf was nowhere near as NFL ready as Mallett. Mallett is the son of a coach and teacher. He’s willing to learn and highly motivated, somehting you can’t say about Leaf.

  2. It is amazing that after the Panther organization telling the world that Ryan did come in the morning of the meeting. He said he was sick, and went back to his motel room. No one has shown proof of his late night activites, and he has denied them.
    I still say “Some of you so called reporters should be locked up, and your keepers need to forget to feed you for 30 or 40 days.
    This can’t happen, so I would settle for a complete record of your mistakes since birth.
    #1 being learning to write.

  3. paulmbanks says

    Bill, did you not read this sentence correctly???

    “He was rumored to have been out all night, and that was the supposed reason for his absence. His agent said Mallett was just sick.”

    what’s so damning and incriminating about that? It’s simple he said, he said, and I reported both sides. You need to pay better attention

  4. Why do you censor responses?

  5. My point was— This information was denied by the NFL Team, and you are still reporting it like it was a rumor that is still legit. If the team says he was there, where is the rumor that is worth printing?
    Why did you not feel the need or responsibility to report the team response at this late date?

  6. paulmbanks says

    not really. I said it was a rumor, I didn’t say it was legit.

    and if you run a site with 6,000 visitors per day, and an open comment thread, you’ll understand why comments need to be held in moderation.

    the lowest of the low often come out, and they have no standards for what they say, and most of it adds nothing to the conversation.

    look at the last two I just approved for the mock draft

  7. i watched ryan mallet grow up from a young man playing texas high school football. i never at anytime heard or knew of anything out of line that he was guilty of. however from some of the media, actually many, feel like it is their job to crucify his image which isnt perfect this boy has rare talent and it he gets the opportunity that talent will mature there hasnt been a quarterback in the draft in several years that can throw the football as accurately or as far as ryan mallet. he didnt learn that in a bar or dive as some would have you believe but from hard work and attention to his craft. what ever the it factor is this kid has it i have seen if many times in person i suppose that that drinking some beer or somthing is far worse than stealing, a computer or cheating on your grades. all i know is that i see a double standard one gets rewarded with millions for breaking the rules and another gets cast down for doing what alot of the current nfl does every week


  9. paulmbanks says

    to quote Brick in “Anchorman” LOUD NOISES!!!!!!


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