2009 NFL Draft Preview: Mark Sanchez
Is Sanchez Ready for the NFL?
Is top-ranked Mark Sanchez really the best quarterback in the 2009 NFL Draft?
The USC redshirt junior only has one full season of starting experience under his belt, but it was a terrific year for Sanchez. With a pass proficiency of better than 65 percent, Sanchez threw for 3,207 yards and 34 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. In his final college game, he led the Trojans to an easy defeat of mid-season contenders Penn State in the Rose Bowl, completing 28 of 35 pass attempts for 413 yards and four touchdowns.
During the press conference in which Mark Sanchez announced his intentions to declare for the 2009 NFL Draft, USC head coach Pete Carroll expressed his adamant opposition to the decision. Lest there be any question, Sanchez will graduate in the spring of 2009 with a degree from USC. The only thing Mark Sanchez will be giving up is his final year of NCAA eligibility - and experience.
Sanchez's lack of experience seems to be the biggest challenge facing any team thinking about drafting him. He will not be able to jump in and take the helm for anyone but will rather be an incredibly talented back-up quarterback for a team having time to train him properly.
Mark Sanchez is described as "cerebral". He has the ability to make the right read and his accuracy is unquestionable. He is very strong, but his throws are consistently catchable. The combine report states that Sanchez is capable of throwing any NFL pass necessary - including the deep throw. There is concern that the strength of the USC team as a whole may have made him look better than he is.
If Sanchez isn't selected earlier, the New York Jets have room on their roster for his talents and will also give the Jets some great media attention.
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