The Patriots have selected Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett with the 74th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Mallett has undeniable talent, but fell down draft boards due to some character issues. Mallett has perhaps the best arm in the entire draft.
Tom Brady is still under contract for the next four years, meaning that Mallett will probably be a clipboard-holder for the majority of the time.
That said, Mallett is a great risk vs. reward pick. At worst, the Patriots made another Kevin O’Connell pick. At best, the Patriots either have another golden-armed quarterback to pilot them through the next decade or are able to trade him for some value later on.
Some Belichick quotes on the pick (via @Rapsheet):
“It’s an important position on our team (QB), and we’ll have them in and let them compete.”
“You can’t have too much depth at that position. … We’ve been getting by with (2) for two years.”
“He’s a football guy. As long as you want to talk about football, he’ll talk.”