Cleveland Browns GM Michael Lombardi reportedly graded New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett as the best QB in the 2011 NFL Draft class when Mallett was coming out of the Arkansas Razorbacks program. Whether or not Mallett deserves that kind of praise isn’t the point; it’s the fact that teams rate him highly. Mallett would be an excellent fit for Rob Chudzinski’s vertical offense that will be deployed now that Chud is the head coach in Cleveland.
At this point in time, it seems like the Browns are the only team seriously interested in acquiring Mallett, and that’s because Mallett is going to have a very high price tag. Bill Belichick, Brian Daboll, and the rest of the New England Patriots organization is very high on Mallett, and they are not going to trade him for anything less than a second-rounder.
That’s where things get complicated for the Browns, and that’s where they won’t be able to meet the Patriots high demand. The Browns don’t have a second-round pick in this upcoming draft, because they used it on selecting Baylor Bears wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft last year.
Even so, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote in her popular “Hey Mary Kay” mailbag that “some still think” the Browns will “make another pitch” for Ryan Mallett’s services. The Browns have maintained that they want to bring in another quarterback to help push second-year Oklahoma State product Brandon Weeden in training camp, and I think Mallett would win the job. The price is steep for the Browns, and it should be. Mallett fell to the third-round despite second-round grades, and the Pats have invested plenty of time into him. I actually want Mallett to stay in New England, because there isn’t a better option for this team. The Pats are wise to have high demands for the backup QB, and it will be interesting to see if the Browns and Lombardi can find a way to meet them.
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