Project players are easily cumbersome. It means the team that picks the project player believes that he isn't quite ready yet to become an player that can relied to be productive right away. It can also mean that the player has a few issues in his life that could be a red flag when it comes to on-the-field success and/or good publicity for the team.
Sadly, it seems,
The fact that it was the New England Patriots drafted Mallett seems to be sending mixed messages. For one thing, it means that they see something in him that makes him an ideal back-up quarterback for Tom Brady. On the other hand, it means that they see something in him that makes him an back-up quarterback, period. It doesn't look like New England will be without the services of Tom Brady any time soon, barring serious injury. Drafting Mallett as a back-up says that the Pats think they can sort through the baggage he carries with him. On the other hand, it means that they're going to need to keep a closer eye on him.