Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network reiterated earlier comments he made a few weeks ago, again saying that he believes Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is the best fit for the Seattle Seahawks among the second tier of quarterbacks that likely will be left when they select at No. 25, with Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert probably going in the top 10.
Lombardi likes Mallett’s ability to throw accurately down the field, and says that Seattle is not scared off by the Arkansas product’s potential off-the-field issues.
Mallett’s stock took a hit after he bristled during his combine interview in Indianapolis in February when asked to address rumors of drug use (which you can watch a portion of it here).
Add to that the fact that Charlie Whitehurst is the only quarterback left on Seattle’s roster and free agent Matt Hasselbeck may not return, and Seattle has some urgency to address the quarterback position with the team’s first-round pick.
“I think they really do like Mallett,” Lombardi said in a conference call with reporters this morning. “They’ve done a lot of work on him. I think Miami’s done a lot of work on him. I think there’s a feeling within the league that Seattle is hoping he makes it down to their pick at No. 25, so that they can get him.
“I think he does fit what they want to do offensively. He can run a pro-style offense, and they don’t feel the problems off the field are as bad as some people might suspect. So I do feel like that’s one area where they would feel like they’ve solved that problem if they turn that card in.
“It’s interesting, they’re 7-9 and they’re picking 25th. So they’re down there in the draft and they’ve always been very aggressive. So I think if they wanted to go get a guy, they would go get him and move up. But I think until the get the quarterback problem fixed it’s going to be very difficult. They tried to sign Matt Hasselbeck before we locked out. He turned down their last offer, so I think their expectation is they’re not probably going to get him back, so they better address the quarterback.”
Lombardi also said Washington quarterback Jake Locker is a better fit for someone like Washington head coach Mike Shanahan. Some mock drafts have Seattle taking the hometown product at No. 25.
“When you look at what Locker’s best skill set is, it’s to be on the perimeter and moving in the pocket,” Lombardi said. “He’s not an accurate quarterback and he’s not a drop-back passer. And Mike’s passing game is about being on the edges and challenging, whether it’s boots or nakeds and things like that. He’s looking for athleticism at quarterback. So when I look at Locker, I see a guy who would fit what Mike does.”
Mallett is scheduled to do an interview with KJR’s Ian Furness at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon to talk about the possibility of landing in Seattle.