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Mike Mayock: ‘Ryan Mallett is a starting quarterback in this league’

08.05.14 at 7:00 am ET
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In the wake of Monday’s joint practices between the Patriots and Redskins, NFL analyst Mike Mayock was impressed by several things he saw from New England. But first and foremost, it was backup quarterback Ryan Mallett who really opened his eyes.

Mayock said Mallett “popped” against the Redskins, and added that he “saw a legitimate NFL starting quarterback today backing up Tom Brady.”

“This was a guy drafted in the third round out of Arkansas with first-round arm talent,” Mayock said of Mallett, who was taken with the 74th overall pick in the 2011 draft. “His issues were off the field. In the last three years, we haven’€™t heard a peep out of him.

“I was blown away today. I saw a legitimate NFL starting quarterback today backing up Tom Brady. As the season progresses and we get closer to draft time and what the Patriots can and can’€™t do with him, I think they drafted [Jimmy] Garoppolo for a reason as an insurance policy. But trust me, Ryan Mallett is a starting quarterback in this league, and he popped today.’€

Mayock also liked when he saw from the New England defense.

“€œLast year they were efficient; they were No. 26 in yards allowed, but No. 10 in points allowed — a much more important statistic. But they’€™re getting better and better,” he said. “Their linebacker group might be as good as anybody in football, but I think the most stark contrast are the corners. When you line up Brandon Browner on one side and Darrelle Revis on the other side, and then slide Kyle Arrington into the slot, they have more quality and depth than at any time in recent memory on the back end. That’€™s kind of been the problem they’€™ve had.

“So if you assume they’€™re going to score a lot of points on offense, I think we’€™re going to see the best Patriots defense that we’€™ve seen in recent memory.”

Read More: Brandon Browner, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Arrington, Mike Mayock
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