Arkansas fans hoping to see their star quarterback get taken in the first round of the NFL draft might want to sit down. The draft stock of Ryan Mallett is falling.
A number of reports from NFL beat guys claim that Mallett will drop all the way out of the opening round due to “off-field issues.” Now, his only publicized off-field issue was a public intoxication arrest back in 2009, but something’s working against the ex-Razorback.
FoxSports.com’s Adam Caplan even wrote yesterday on Twitter that it wouldn’t shock him “to see Mallett fall to the third (round).” Caplan said “baggage, and not the kind you carry” would work against Mallett.
“Baggage” and “off-field issues” are usually code words — in NFL draft chatter — for drug issues of some sort. If a player’s intelligence is questioned, seldom are punches pulled. But no one wants to accuse a kid of being involved in the drug culture without hard evidence for fear of being sued.
Now maybe Mallett’s “baggage” is something else entirely. Maybe he’s knocked over a string of banks. Maybe he’s just not a film room junkie. But when we see “baggage” and “off-field issues” tied to a draft prospect, our first thoughts go to a certain green, leafy plant. (One site has gone so far as to tie Mallett to marijuana and cocaine.)
Whatever the reason, the scuttlebutt in league circles suggests Mallett’s stock is tumbling.