Would Dolphins dare to draft Mallett 15th?

April, 13, 2011
4/13/11
4:21
PM ET
Miami Dolphins fans should be more comfortable than most with the idea of drafting Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Mallett enters the NFL with multiple question marks despite a rifle arm and prolific statistics in a pro-style offense. Drug rumors have been persistent. On the field, he's considered sloth-like in his movements.

All the same was said about Dan Marino. He's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame now, and the Dolphins still are searching for his replacement after a dozen years, an issue we explored Wednesday in a piece about Bill Parcells defending the Dolphins' decision to draft left tackle Jake Long instead of quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008.

Miami Herald writer Barry Jackson wrote about the Dolphins' interest in Mallett and the possibility they would draft him.

The Dolphins own the 15th overall pick. Mallett is expected to be on the board there and perhaps tumble into the second round, but the Dolphins don't have a second-round pick.

Jackson spoke with Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams about Mallett. Williams is draft-eligible and recently broke bread with Mallett, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano in Fayetteville, Ark.

At a 45-minute workout for the Dolphins, Williams said Mallett "put the ball on the money all day. You could see the coaches say, 'Wow!' We did everything -- rollouts, seven-step drops, the quick game."

Williams claimed Mallett came away from the sessions with a stronger vibe about the Dolphins than other teams.

"Usually, Ryan says, 'I don't know.' But he felt very comfortable about what the Dolphins' interest is," Williams said. "He was really good."

The Dolphins might have to take Mallett in a spot many draft experts consider a reach.

But if the Dolphins identify him as their man, then what should projections matter?

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