2011 ESPN All-Star Football Challenge: Mallett, Dalton, Locker Review

I was just watching Gruden's "interview" with Dalton and following it was a replay of the ESPN All-Star Football Challenge that included Mallett, Dalton, and Locker throwing balls at moving targets. Followed by some other players doing football skills challenges.. including Von Miller who looked impressive as hell. But i digress...

So, I'm not sure if the challenge has been discussed here on MCM yet (couldn't find evidence of that), but watching it made me feel a lot more worried about Dalton.

I know i shouldn't put much stock in silly things like ESPN "skill" challenges, but for anyone (like me) who is really high on Dalton, it is worth watching to bring yourself back down to earth. I understand that people don't take those challenges all that seriously and that all the participants are just hanging out and having fun, but the competition still showed a little bit of the skills of Mallett, Dalton, and Locker.

Mallett was impressive (as expected) and you could tell when watching him that he really is the most polished QB in the draft (personality and rumored drug-usage aside). He made some great looking throws and really showed off his accuracy. He managed the short throws just as well as the long, although he really shined on a couple of the 30 yard and 40 yard throws. He seemed pretty nonchalant throughout the whole competition and in the short interview following. Not sure if that is a reflection of his personality (that people worry about) or if it was just because of the casual situation that he was in. It was interesting to see that Mallett really doesn't have bulging biceps or anything and i was surprised at how small his arms looked in comparison to Locker for example. It must be his height or something that gives him all that power in his throws... Anyways, to sum it all up, Mallett looked impressive. If the Titans FO think that they can deal with Mallett's supposed character issues, I think he would be the steal of the draft in the 2nd round. I would even consider him in the second half of the 1st round if there's a run on QBs. Although, I think the further he drops, the better he will be because he should come in with a better attitude and a greater hunger.


Dalton went 2nd in the skills challenge and was underwhelming. He wasn't terribly accurate on some of his shorter throws and his accuracy seemed to decline even further as the throws progressed in length. You could tell he wasn't necessarily putting all of his effort into the throws, but he still looked like he was struggling a bit on the 40 yd throws in getting the ball to the right location and with the right velocity. This was the first time i had ever really found myself questioning Dalton's ability to make the long throws that I hope someone will be making to Britt next year. Obviously the skills challenge was a small (and probably worthless) sample of his skills, but it resonated with me. After seeing it and in light of all the other draft information regarding him, I would probably be happy with him at 39, but not before then. (Again, unless theres a major run on QBs or something)


Locker was the final contestant in the skills challenge. He looked inconsistent and inaccurate in the first round of throws, but improved some in the 2nd round. He was still unimpressive. All of the nagging concerns people have had about Locker as a QB seemed to be on full display in the competition. He made a couple of accurate throws that looked pretty good, but they were mixed in amongst a whole lot of crap throws that were way off target. The kind of throws that don't fall incomplete in an NFL game, but that fall into the hands of a defender. Jake really did look like he was throwing hard and trying (again, as much as any person "tries" in an espn skills challenge), but his passes just didn't look good. As much of a good guy as everyone says he is, seriously some of his throws were just plain ugly. I really wouldn't feel comfortable taking him before the 3rd round. I know he probably won't be there then, but that doesn't affect my feelings about him. He seems like a 2-3 yr project minimum, and that doesn't gel with the Titans current situation very well.


Just to reiterate the point for all the people who will want to point it out in the comments: I know the ESPN skills challenge doesn't really even qualify as a sample of a player's ability/skills because of the casualness of the situation and etc etc, and i understand that. But if you do look at the challenge and decide to base some of your viewpoints off of it, then you might just come up with the same conclusions that I did.




P.S. This is my first Fanpost so the formatting is probably all wrong.

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