Arkansas' Mallett meets Titans, who have big need for QB

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett met with Tennessee Titans officials Monday in Nashville, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The Titans own the No. 8 overall pick in this month's NFL draft and might use it to find their next quarterback. Owner Bud Adams announced in January that the team would part ways with 2006 first-round draft pick Vince Young, and veteran Kerry Collins will be an unrestricted free agent once the league and its players reach a collective bargaining agreement.

Mallett, who threw 62 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions during his two-year career at Arkansas, is considered by many analysts to be the best pure passer in this year's draft. Concerns about character have been more prevalent than questions about talent.

"The more I watch Mallett on tape, the more I like what I see," senior analyst Pat Kirwan wrote in his column Monday. "In the South Carolina game, he faced repeated pressure calls, and he really demonstrated an ability to move around in the pocket and even scramble to his left like Ben Roethlisberger does and look deep. When the inside pressure broke down the pocket, Mallett demonstrated more than once that he could stand in there and take a lick while flicking the ball to a shallow crossing route like I have seen Joe Flacco do with his great height."

Kirwan talked to a well-respected, retired quarterbacks coach who didn't mince words about Mallett after watching game tape.

"I've seen enough," the coach said. "This guy is an NFL quarterback. He can hum a frozen rope 45-50 yards in the air, and he can hit a shallow crosser on the up-field shoulder."

Three NFL Network and analysts predict Mallett will be taken in the first round. Kirwan sees the New England Patriots grabbing the quarterback at No. 28, but Steve Wyche and Bucky Brooks see him going earlier, to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 25.

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