Ryan Mallett came to the NFL Combine with plenty of questions about his character and where his head was atahead of the 2011 NFL Draft. And while Mallett didn't impress during his meeting with the media, he did reportedly handle the 15-minute individual interviews with teams during the combine well, answer questions candidly while being open with the teams he was speaking to. When it came time to hit the field, Mallett showed off the physical tools he's known for, slinging the ball around the field with ease in the throwing drills.
Mallett won't knock anyone's socks off with his athleticism, like Jake Locker or Cam Newton, but he will continue to impress during throwing drills with the cannon for an arm that he possesses. CBS Sports' Rob Rang summed up Mallett's day well, calling him the star of the passing portion.
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.
It was important that Mallett not only threw well, but handled himself well everywhere he went in Indianapolis this weekend. With rumblings about character issues, Mallett could ill-afford to do anything but put on a happy face both on and off the field.
While Mallett is still behind the likes of Locker, Newton and Blaine Gabbert, he appeared to help his draft stock at the combine and may find himself right on the edge of that first round, if not safely in it, as we draw closer to the draft. Overall, it was a good day, and good weekend, for Mallett and the combine. His physical tools are unquestionable, and if he did convince teams his character is solid, it's hard to see him not coming off the board in the first 32 picks.
For more results and analysis from the weekend, check out our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.