Mallett a first-rounder after pro-day workout?

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Ryan Mallett’s workout Tuesday at Arkansas’ pro day could propel him back into the first round of the April draft.

The junior was absolutely sensational during the workout, and his natural talent is unrivaled in this year’s draft. As a strong-armed passer, Mallett easily makes all of the requisite throws in the pro game. He had little trouble putting the ball on the proper shoulder with velocity and zip. His arm strength, touch and accuracy also stood out on deep throws. His high-arcing throws consistently hit receivers in stride 40 to 45 yards down field, but he also showed the ability to adjust the arc and trajectory of his throws to match the speed of his intended receiver.

Mallett’s footwork and fundamentals were sound in the pocket, as he quickly sets up and comes to balance following three-, five- or seven-step drops. His natural rhythm comes from his extensive experience running a pro-style attack, and he shouldn’t have any problem transitioning to the next level from a physical standpoint.

When looking for a flaw in Mallett’s workout, I would have to point to his disappointing athleticism. He ran a slow 5.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash and registered just a 26-inch vertical. Those numbers indicate that he will struggle escaping the pocket and that he isn’t a threat to run.

However, everyone who watched the game tape understood that fact going into the workout and only wanted to see how well Mallett could reset his feet and throw on time. He didn’t really have a chance to showcase those skills in this controlled workout, but he will need to show those skills in private workouts.

If he can address that flaw and the looming character concerns, Mallett could hear his name called at the end of the first round.

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