As much as Cam Newton has been critiqued in the pre-draft process, Ryan Mallett has perhaps gotten even tighter scrutiny.
The Arkansas quarterback believes teams are getting a better look at him though in one-on-one meetings and he says a visit to the Minnesota Vikings last week went well. It’s one of eight pre-draft visits he has as he tries to rebuild his stock that has been dogged by rumors of drug use.
He’s answering character and off-field questions despite being one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the draft.
“The key is to just be forthright, and hopefully they can understand who I am as a person,” Mallett told Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “When I'm questioned about my leadership or character, I ask them to look at my experience at Arkansas, where I had the chance to be a two-time captain. That was voted on by my teammates, and I believe they looked at me as a leader. I believe in myself as a football player and leader.”
The Vikings have been searching high and low for a quarterback. Even if they ultimately go a veteran route for the 2011 season, they’re still expected to bring a young passer on board.
“I was really impressed by the organization, and the talks we had were positive,” Mallett said. “I enjoyed talking football with them and showing them what I know and what I can do as a quarterback. I feel that's a place where I could thrive.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune