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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Ryan Mallett, Pete Carroll Could Be Solid Pairing

The latest 2011 NFL mock drafts seem to point toward the quarterback spot for the Seattle Seahawks. Jake Locker and Christian Ponder have both been mentioned as possible picks at the No. 25 spot as the Seahawks work to find a quarterback of the future, especially with Matt Hasselbeck’s status up in the air. After the NFL Combine, though, we have a better idea of where the top quarterbacks in the class slot as Locker, Ponder, Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett all jockey for position.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco brings up a good point while projecting Ryan Mallett to the Seahawks in his latest mock draft. Mallett, who’s had his character questioned repeatedly throughout the pre-draft process, could be an intriguing fit in Seattle. Head coach Pete Carroll is known for his player’s coach reputation and ability to handle players with less-than-stellar character.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas. They badly need a long-term answer and Pete Carroll isn’t one to shy away from players with problems.

It’s just a small bullet point, but it’s valid. Carroll is that likable coach that players tend to gravitate to. He was at USC — where his players loved him — and has been in the NFL with the Seahawks, where he immediately brought his light-hearted style in 2010. If there’s a coach that can afford to take a chance on a player with questionable character, it’s Carroll.

Then again, Mallett may not have questionable character at all. During the media interviews at the NFL Combine, he was standoffish, but in individual interviews, Mallett reportedly drew praise from the teams he spoke to. Add his impressive physical tools into the mix and it’s possible Mallett excels in the NFL — and fast.

For the latest on the draft, check out our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.