Arkansas Quarterback Ryan Mallett Made Favorable Impression At NFL Combine

NEW ORLEANS LA - JANUARY 04: Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks to pass in the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4 2011 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There are some out there that are supposedly trying to drag Ryan Mallett's name through the mud, starting with CBSSports.com's Rob Rang who wrote "Mallett is going to get hit with lots of questions about his so-called lack of leadership and reports of illegal drug use." Former St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers executive Tony Softli wrote "Character and drug use issues are starting to rear their ugly head. Heavy rumors of drug use and possible addiction kept him from coming out for the 2010 draft."

The Arkansas quarterback was asked about those rumors during the NFL Combine.

Mallett sidestepped questions saying, "obviously, somebody did it for a reason, right before the combine, right before the draft." Aside for Mallett's arrest for public intoxication in March of 2009, most of the rumors against Mallett have been unsubstantiated, at best.

“When I saw that stuff, I laughed about it,” Mallett said initially. “I said I’m not going to talk about it here,” Mallett repeated later.

Geoff Hobson wrote:

Meanwhile, in what one media member described as a "train wreck," reports said Mallett refused to address questions about his alleged off-field problems several times before abruptly ending his session.

It's true. Most of what's being reported as a drug addiction are unsubstantiated rumors. On the other hand, the fact Mallett didn't outright deny those rumors, simply saying "I'm not going to talk about it here" likely rose enough eyebrows that could have teams flagging Mallett as a character concern, depending on how interviews went with the quarterback. According to most reports, he intends to keep that between himself and the teams he interviewed with over the weekend.

And according to Jason La Canfora, he left a "favorable impression":

Some teams have come away believing Mallett has maturity issues, but he has generally made a favorable impression, according to sources.

Additionally, as Jason pointed out Sunday, Mallett reportedly had great sessions on the field. Rang wrote:

Mallett's rocket arm and good accuracy was especially evident on the tougher throws such as the deep out, fly and post-corner routes. Perhaps just as importantly -- considering the character questions that continue to dog him -- was his big smile and obvious camaraderie with the other quarterbacks and receivers throughout the workout. Of all the players throwing and catching, Mallett looked like he was having the most fun.

Tony Pauline called Mallett's accuracy "pinpoint".

He always led his receivers with perfect timing. No one doubted Mallett’s arm strength or ability to throw well in shorts, but he may have exceeded expectations.

Mallett tied or broke 43 school or championship records last season, named to the second-team All SEC. Mallett's career average of 29.6 yards/touchdown pass is the highest in conference history and his 158.1 passer rating ranks third all-time in the SEC. Mallett finished his college career with 7,141 yards passing and 62 passing touchdowns.

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