Remember Ryan Mallet?
Leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, few signal callers were more widely debated than the 6 foot 7 gunslinger. Then, in late April, he was taken off the board in the third round by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots only to be buried on the depth chart and not heard from all season long.
Now, the week before the Patriots are set to battle for football's greatest prize, the former Arkansas Razorback has found his way into the news. Mallett has dropped roughly 15 pounds off of his 253 combine weigh-in with improved conditioning this season, according to CSN New England. The report also noted that Bill Belichick has been impressed with some of Mallett's throws in practice.
Of course, like anything in today's era, these reports have caused a slew of speculation about Ryan Mallett's value, either with the Patriots down the road or in a trade with any number of quarterback-hungry teams.
Rotoworld's Evan Silva speculated that Mallett would be worth a second round pick and cited the Jacksonville Jaguars as a potential trade partner in the following tweet:
After he fell so far in draft, Mallett has bargain-basement deal. Vertical team with solid O-Line like #Jaguars ought to offer 2nd-rd pick.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) February 3, 2012
After the jump, find out why no team, especially the Jaguars should even consider this.
We've seen this before, right? A team drafts a quarterback between rounds two and seven, despite having a solid starter in place, with the goal of developing them into a quality backup. Said quarterback then comes out and has a few decent preseason games, maybe makes a regular season appearance or two and draws praise from the coaching staff. The trade rumors begin to fly shortly thereafter.
Matt Schaub was drafted in the third round by the Atlanta Falcons before being traded to Houston for two second rounders and a swap of first round selections. The New England Patriots turned a seventh round pick, Matt Cassel, into a second round pick in a trade with Kansas City, while Kevin Kolb and Charlie Whitehurst were also moved for draft choice before truly proving themselves in the NFL.
So, why not Mallett?
For starters, Mallett doesn't have nearly as much experience as any of the above players had before being traded. Mallett played sparingly in the preseason against scrubs, and didn't look all that impressive doing it. He hasn't even done enough to supplant Brian Hoyer as Tom Brady's backup, and we want to talk about teams that should trade for him? Let's not forget that Mallett had serious pocket presence, mobility and accuracy concerns coming out of Arkansas, not to mention the personality issues that caused him to drop to the third round. There is very little evidence that he is any less of a hot head, and even less evidence that he has improved on any of the areas of his game.
I know what you might be thinking: "The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick are the best at developing quarterbacks and straightening out character concerns." This is one of the most puzzling myths out there. They developed Tom Brady, and that's it. Matt Cassel has been very average in Kansas City, and Brian Hoyer is just a run of the mill backup quarterback. As far as straightening out questionable personalities, Randy Moss and Albert Haynesworth both reverted back to their ways in due time.
People who think Ryan Mallett has trade value at this point will continue to point to the trades that have happened in the past. But other than the Matt Schaub trade in Houston, when have any of those ever really worked out? Furthermore, since when is a second round pick a bargain? Draft picks are valuable, and spending a high pick on a player who has lost some weight and drawn praise from his own coach for work in practice is reckless.
Not a single team in the league had a second round grade on Ryan Mallett, so why would any of them think he is worth that price now? Mallett has done absolutely nothing, and until he does, teams will stay clear of throwing a second round pick New England's way.