By now you've all noticed this offseason I have been a frequent poster of FanPosts, that is largely due to having too much time on my hands. Who would of guessed right? Evidently thats what happens when you work in Alaska seasonally instead of having a normal 9-5er. I've recently written fanposts on QB's that could fit in Norvs offense and my goal has been to a shed a little bit of light on as many of them as possible.
Most of the time I've tried to cover the positives because most of what you hear atleast in common blogs and in the comment sections of articles has been the negatives. When you don't have a franchise QB, thats because your team has had some mishaps at selecting a franchise QB and when that happens the fanbase becomes very skeptical. The Vikings fans definitely are, we find it so much easier to believe why I QB would fail instead of why a QB would thrive.
Because of this alot of us believe total rumors and myths and don't really even bother to watch much of any tape on those prospects. Instead we just watch the game they performed poorly in like its fair to judge a QB by just one or two games. Peyton Manning coming out had some horrible games, Drew Brees had his bad games, many great QBs had just plain bad Bowl games. Every QB and every player is going to have their share of poor games and an area of their game they've suffered in. If there was a player who didn't, they'd be the unanimous #1 pick and who ever possessed that picks phone would be ringing non stop.
So I've tried to shine a light on some of the positives of these QB's and dispel some of the myths. So I've written a couple that discussed Carr, a couple on Mettenberger, now I'm doing one on Mallett and hopefully sometime soon one on Bridgewater and the pros and cons of trading up for him.
-Extremely high football IQ
-One of the strongest arms in the league, can make all the throws,
fit the ball into tight windows
-Height: Somewhere between 6'6 & 6'7
-Good Build: Slim but still weighs atleast 240
-True drop back pocket passer, navigates in the pocket well
-Can make a simple side step or move to avoid the sack
-Ran a complex NFL offense even in college
-Very accurate on mid range and deep passes
-He's been learning from an NFL coaching staff for the last few years
-He's been shadowing a future HoFer
-He's already played with two of our current receivers
-Slow, non mobile QB (Not just Tom Brady slow, Phillip Rivers slow)
-Inconsistent on short passes, loses touch and accuracy
-When flushed out of the pocket he doesn't set his feet quickly
-Rumored off field/character issues before the draft
-Inconsistent when facing heavy pressure, sometimes letting his footwork go and relying
too much on his arm strength
-Up and down preseason performances, had moments where you think "Wow
that was a laser!" then has moments like on a short pass where you think "You know he can't catch
with his feet right?"
-Would require a trade, not a free agent
-Some of his off field/character issues before the draft seem to have been just rumors. Some true, some false but the Sun-Sentinel did a great piece on their own investigations on him and back ground check
-While its easy to look at his preseason performances and ask whats so great about him, remember his Achilles heel was that he had trouble with consistency on short passes and the offense he's in demands constant short passes and a high completion percentage. His average Y/A in Petrinos offensive system was 9.4, while in McDaniels in the preseason it was 5.9. It is clearly not a suited offensive scheme for a passer like Mallett, Bill Belichick clearly had figured to switch once Bradys reign was over.
Today was the official announcement that Norv Turner was going to be Minnesotas next OC. During the interviews that came with it, he admitted he was going to be looking for a QB who's skill set fit what he wanted (hopefully that finally ends the argument that the Vikings aren't going to draft based on schematic fit). Also he mentioned some of the characteristics he'll be looking for in the QB's. Here's a quick list of what you can expect the QB to have:
-High football IQ
-Courage in the pocket
When you examine those traits, Ryan Mallett for the most part fits the bill. He has a great football IQ as the son of a coach, having played in a complicated offense under Petrino and now a very challenging offense in New England. He has as much arm strength as any QB and could make throws Ponder never even dreamed of. Accuracy can go either way, he was known for his pin point accuracy and good ball placement on mid range and down field passes but inconsistent on short passes. Maturity is probably the biggest knock and honestly, me even listing maturity is a bit of a twist since he said mentally strong and I took that as maturity. Again that would be his knock, since he was known for being a regular in bars back in college even before it was legal and he possibly did coke. Still not sure if thats all rumors or not, but then again you haven't heard squat about him getting into any problems or being immature since he joined the NFL so I don't know if that can still be held against him. Courage in the pocket, even though he's had problems with relying on his arm too much when faced with pressure he's never had a problem with bailing from the pocket too soon. There is plenty of footage of him making big throws the second before he gets popped.
Really though with Mallett, even if you take into consideration how he fits the bill for what Norv wants, a great schematic fit with the offense that Minnesota will be running there is like always, a risk trading for a player. That should not prevent them kicking the tires on him though, tere is a tremendous amount of upside to him, and the asking price from the Patriots should undoubtedly drop since he's a FA next year and Brady is not retiring anytime soon (loved the Gerhart comparison someone made). Also Norv Turner did wonders with the player (Brian Hoyer) Mallett beat out for the back up spot behind Brady, but if they did trade for him they all better be certain.
Me personally I easily see Turner getting alot out of this kid. If you look at some of the QBs Norv has worked with and gotten results with its easy to envision a good turn out from Mallett. Kerry Collins (6'5 cannon arm) probably could have been considered the poor mans Ryan Mallett if you compared them coming out of college and Collins first year under Turner with the Raiders he went 3495 YDS | 21 TDs | 20 INTs, then his second year under Turner went 3759 YDS | 20 TDs | 12 INTs. You've all heard about how much he helped Troy Aikman. To put it in perspective Ponder had a better first couple of years than Aikman, he was pretty bad. Then Norv Turner changed everything. Now Mallett has already had alot of his issues that caused him to fall from being a top, 1st round talent have been taken care of by Bellichick and the Patriots but still they aren't going to give him a big contract next season when Tom Brady has a minimum of 4 years left in the tank. They let talent go all the time, they Welker walk, they're about to let Talib walk, so they'll field any offers they can get. Take Mallett out of that offense he doesn't fit at all, put him in Minnesota have him study under Norv for atleast a good majority of the season while Cassel or another vet starts and I think he performs very well. If Minnesota could trade a 3rd for him and maybe a conditional low round pick for him, I would be more than ok with it.