Patriots Rookie Projections: Ryan Mallett

NEW ORLEANS LA - JANUARY 04: Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks reacts after going three-and-out on their first possesion against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4 2011 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The fifth in a series looking at the Patriots' 2011 NFL Draft picks, and the roles they might play for the Patriots next year.

Name: Ryan Mallett

School: Arkansas

Position: Quarterback

Drafted: 3rd Round, 74th Overall

Projected Stats: 2 Games Played; 11/18, 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Projected Role: Ryan Mallett has absolutely zero expectations heading into the season for the Patriots (expectations that will be even lower if the lockout does not end soon).  He will get the chance to play in the preseason, and possibly even compete with Brian Hoyer for the backup quarterback spot.  Most likely, however, he will have the #3 spot on the depth chart next season, and will get ready to be the top backup in 2012.  Mallett will also likely get a couple of chances to play in mop-up duty (especially at the end of the season, when playoff seeding might be locked up).  However, as we all know, Mallett's greatest value to the Patriots will come in the future (2013, 2014, or 2015) when his trade value is either at its highest, or Tom Brady is ready to hang 'em up (which I doubt).

Bottom Line: 3rd QB for 2011, 2nd QB 2012, with a chance to be traded or take over in 2014

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