From General Manager Ramon Fernandez: This 2011 Quarterback draft strikes a startling image of the 2006 class to me. And who was the best QB in that draft? Strong-armed Jay Cutler. In this QB class of '11, you got Cam Newton, who represents Vince Young, Blaine Gabbert, who reminds me of Matt Lienart, and you got a strong armed QB who can make all the throws in the pros, Ryan Mallett who obviously takes the place of Jay Cutler in this situation. The Titans were obviously wrong to pick up Vince Young (since he's no longer on the team) and skipping Cutler (who has a probowl), and can now make up for that mistake by bringing in Ryan Mallet. At 6'6 and 238lbs. he is a big physical specimen that compares favorably to Ravens' QB Joe Flacco and is going be tough to tackle and/or sack. So I see little choice but to fill the Titan's biggest need right now with who I think is going to be the best Quarterback in the league.
The best part of drafting Mallett is there is already an outstanding offensive staff around him from day one. With a above average offensive line, an all-star running back in Chris Johnson, an aging, yet effective (deep) receiver like Randy Moss and heck, and even Kenny Britt as a rising star at receiver, I fully expect Mallett to thrive in Tennessee.
The Titans were more than happy to accept the trade the New England Patriot offered because we were very sure that Mallett would fall to the 17th, yet I knew he wouldn't last til my second round pick at pick 39. So I essentially had to trade down and get as much value as possible. Now with my rookie quarterback claiming the cornerstone of the franchise, I have nine more picks in this draft to effectively build around the cornerstone.
From the Commish
Sayre: I do not like Mallett at all, but if the Titans are adamant about taking a quarterback, then it works for me. I liken Mallett to a bigger, less athletic version of Jay Cutler. Extremely strong arm, but not great intangibles whatsoever. Mallett will make a fantastic throw one play, and an erratic throw the next. With a new regime comes a new quarterback. In my opinion, getting a high character guy at this position is critical. Can Mallett be that guy? The physical tools are all there.