It is no secret that Ryan Mallett has an absolute hammer of an arm. The velocity and distance he is able to put on the football is greater than that of the majority of starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Someone looking for proof only needs to watch this youngster's film and see him deliver the out-cut on a rope. He is able to fit the ball into tight spots and can throw the ball 75-80+ yards downfield. He can also throw rockets off of his back foot and across his body. At Michigan’s summer camp, most of the other prospects were either unwilling or unable to catch Mallett’s passes in drills. That is arm strength!
Mallett’s overall accuracy is another of his strong suits. He throws all of the routes well and is consistent at hitting his receivers in stride and out of breaks. On his deep throws he shows excellent touch, which is a trait that is often hard to find in big-armed QBs.
Another positive is the sophisticated offensive system Mallett plays in at his high school. The aerial attack he pilots looks as if it would be successful against some small college teams. He has experience throwing an array of screen passes, deep routes and mid range passes, and does a great deal of his work out of the shotgun.
Mallett also does a lot of the little things right. One often overlooked but important facet of a quarterback’s job is selling play-action. Mallett does an excellent job with ball fakes. He is also good at improvising and making difficult throws from contorted positions. His escapablity is good for a youngster his size.
Things To Improve:
Anything under this heading is pure knit picking, but there are some things for the gunslinger to work on. First and foremost are lower body mechanics. Mallett has a tendency to make “arm throws” where his feet are not set properly and his hips aren’t in the throw. He needs to do a better job of resetting his feet after avoiding pressure and getting his hips and arm working in unison.
He also carries the ball low at times and has a tendency to wind up on his delivery. Those two things cause him to vary his release point. Even with these minor issues, his release is still rather quick. Furthermore, his mechanics are often spot on. Again, these are just small details, that when corrected, will help his consistency. The scary news for opponents is if and when he progresses in this area, his accuracy and velocity will improve even more.
Wow. That’s the word that I used to describe Ryan when I first saw him last year, and it comes up again after evaluating his film. His arm strength is at an elite level and he shows the tools necessary to be a great college quarterback. Of course, the transition to college always includes a certain level of uncertainty. The jump to next level brings in pressure that many high school athletes cannot prepare for. The pressure of playing for a major college, big games, pressure and commanding a huddle as a young player. Mallett, though, should do just fine with all of those things.
Overall, Michigan landed the quarterback that has the potential to become the finest they've ever had.
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for the fifth installment of our video highlight package on Ryan Mallett. For those that missed segments one through four, click the links below.
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