What Will the Patriots Do with Ryan Mallett?

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If the New England Patriots consider trading backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, and there are plenty of reasons why they should, then the rest of the league should be looking into acquiring him, at least the teams that are looking for a quarterback should be. All the attention involving non-rookie quarterbacks this offseason has centered on Alex Smith, Matt Flynn, and Nick Foles, but if Mallett is available, he may actually be the best option out of everyone in that group.

Coming out of college, Mallett fell all the way to the 3rd round, mainly because of concerns over his character and some off-field incidents he was involved with in college. However, during his final year at Arkansas in 2010, it was obvious that Mallett had 1st round talent.

At 6’7’’ and with a powerful arm, Mallett is a pure pocket passer with the ability to make all the necessary throws, as he has as much arm talent as any NFL quarterback. Based on talent alone, Mallett should have been a 1st round pick in the draft two years ago and he should have been able to step right into a starting job in the NFL, but instead he fell in the draft and has spent the last two years backup up Tom Brady.

In New England, Mallett hasn’t been able to showcase his talent on the field too often these past two seasons, but he did make the Patriots comfortable enough to make him the only other quarterback on the roster besides Brady. Mallett has also spent those two years with a front row seat to watch and learn from Brady, as well as the rest of the Patriot’s coaching staff. During that time, he has also stayed out of trouble away from the field, conducting himself in a professional manner, and started showing the kind of maturity many felt he lacked coming out of college.

Spending the last two years in New England have made Mallett even more prepared to be a starting quarterback in the NFL than he was coming out of Arkansas. Out of college, he was physically ready to play quarterback in the NFL, but now he is mentally ready as well. He may not have the in-game NFL experience that Smith and Flynn have, but they don’t have the pure talent that Mallett has. Experience wise, Mallett has little more than the rookies entering the league, but he is far more talented than any of the college quarterbacks available in this year’s draft. He’s also being paid as a 3rd round pick, so he will come at a cheaper price than a quarterback drafted in the 1st or 2nd round this year.

In a lot of ways, Mallett could be the best quarterback available this offseason, with regards to what it’ll take to get him in a trade and the talent the team trading for him will be receiving. The Patriots aren’t really using him right and it could be a while until any but Brady is playing quarterback in New England; plus they could certainly use an extra draft pick or two. So, if New England makes him available via a trade, there are nearly a dozen teams out there that would be foolish not to consider making the Patriots an offer for Mallett. The talent Mallett has is astounding, and now that he’s had a couple of years to grow up and learn about playing quarterback in the NFL from some of the best people in the business, all he needs is an opportunity; and everybody that needs a quarterback should be calling New England, wanting to be the team to give Mallett that opportunity.