Despite Tony Sparano saying that Chad Henne “absolutely deserves another chance” to be the starter in Miami, the Dolphins, at the very least, are strongly considering taking a quarterback in the first few rounds of next month’s draft.
We’ve already taken a look at the top three quarterbacks in this year’s class, but now we get to some of the prospects that I am personally more intrigued by. They also happen to be much more realistic options for the Dolphins, as Gabbert and Newton are projected by many to come off the board in the first five picks and Jake Locker certainly should be considered one of the more risky prospects in the entire draft.
Ryan Mallett is on today’s slate. Heading into this offseason, I actually considered Mallett second only to Blaine Gabbert in my quarterback rankings. His stock took a bit of a tumble, though, when rumors about his character surfaced. But after a very impressive combine and a pro day workout some scouts labeled “spectacular,” Mallett has resurfaced as a legitimate first round possibility.
He undoubtedly will still be available when the Dolphins are on the clock at pick number 15, but trading down to later in the first round and snagging Mallett if he’s still on the board could be the best case scenario for a team looking to retrieve a second round pick as well as pick up a new potential franchise quarterback.
Size: 6-7, 247
Projected Round: 1-2
Pros: People want to rant and rave about how much athletic ability this year’s quarterback class brings to the table. That’s all well and good, but at the end of the day, I want to know who throws the football better. Ryan Mallett arguably has the most gifted arm in this year’s draft. From the moment he steps on an NFL field, he’s going to have one of the strongest arms in the entire league. He’ll be able to make any throw in football and will force defenses to cover the entire field.
Some experts knocked his accuracy when the offseason evaluation process was kicking off, but Mallett was on the money consistently at the combine and at his pro day. Combine his size (6’7) with his high, quick release, and Mallett should never have any trouble with seeing over the line or getting his passes tipped or batted down. He was solid at reading defenses and going through his progressions in college, which gives him the potential to pick defenses apart with his laser-rocket arm. Overall, just one of the most natural quarterbacks in this year’s class.
Cons: If there’s one position where you don’t want to see character concerns, it’s quarterback, where a good one will be the face of the franchise for years to come. Rumors recently surfaced about Mallett’s drug use, which doesn’t bode well for a prospect already suspected of being as dumb as a box of rocks and as arrogant as your typical diva receiver. Mallett may have been blessed with an elite arm, but from the looks of things, he doesn’t exactly have a good head on his shoulders. While the Dolphins have tolerated some questionable behavior, including legal troubles, from some of their players over the past couple years, this regime is usually all about bringing in high character guys.
Physically, there are obviously concerns about Mallett’s mobility. Personally, I think those concerns are overblown. Just look at Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Both are average Joes athletically, yet they will surely be considered two of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played. Still though, the game is changing, and it would be nice not to have a sitting duck in the pocket for a change. Mallett’s inconsistent accuracy at Arkansas also shouldn’t be ignored. Sure he’s looked great in shorts and a t-shirt lately, but how he fared in real games, when he was being rushed and his receivers were being covered, should be held at higher relevance.