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QB Mark Sanchez #6 - 6’2” 225 lbs. - Southern Cal - Sp. 4.9 - Hindu Theory - Matt Cassel
Athletic strong armed junior QB has developed quickly over his short Pac 10 career while earning conference honors over his final performance. Mark surprisingly entered this draft class after basically just one season as the Trojan starting QB. Though he has enormous potential as a pro, he was a surprising addition to this class. His decision to turn pro was probably influenced by this year’s weak group of senior passers. He will most likely earn a high draft ranking on upside potential despite his limited playing experience. He is an above average athlete who has a very good arm and a quick compact delivery that allows him to deliver the ball with excellent velocity, good timing, touch and fine accuracy. He has progressed quickly in all aspects of play since starting at times as a sophomore while subbing for the injured John David Booty. He is a quality passer with fine measureables, including a very strong arm with adequate footspeed that allows him to escape from heavy pass pressure. He can make the quick proper read and deliver the ball into tight spots in the intermediate and short zones. He is an average runner, but shows the ability to throw effectively on the move as well as move quickly within the pocket. He has a very good arm that the pro scouts seek in a prospect with the ability to drive the ball down the field and drop the ball into holes in coverage. As a junior, he made fewer mistakes and made fast progress for a prospect with such limited playing experience. At times, he attempts to do too much to lead his offense that leads to mistakes and turnovers. He is an accurate thrower with the touch to deliver all the passes, and showed fast improvement especially in the deep game over his late career. He displays a live arm with enough mobility and the touch and timing to make the big throws that the position demands. Over his career, he improved his accuracy despite limited playing time. He has a fine delivery and setup with the quick release and follow through to complete the pass. He has the arm to make all the throws and is very effective on the shorter and intermediate routes, leading the receivers nicely to run after the catch. He delivers the ball with good velocity and accuracy with the toughness to hang in the pocket and make the difficult throw. He is very competitive, hard working and shows the ability to direct an offense. As a junior, his decision-making and maturity improved further, though he still needs pocket development and reps in reading coverage.
The Numbers: As a junior, he completed 241 of 366 pass attempts for a 65% for 3207 yards with 34 TDs and 10 picks in 13 starts. During his sophomore season, he started just 3 games and threw for 695 yards with a 60% completion rate with 7 TD passes and 5 picks while backing up John David Booty. Over his career, he made only 16 starts with the great majority of his production over his final performance. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.93 time with a 32.5” VJ, 9’8” BJ and nice agility drills. In the passing drills, he showed a strong arm with the timing and touch to make all the throws. He is similar to the former Trojan Matt Cassel in size, AA and upside potential.
The Skinny: This guy looks like a possible top ten prospect off his overall talent and value of the position. He has the arm, mobility and smarts to earn a pro starting grade but only after extensive development. He is a fine prospect with definite NFL starting talent and upside to become a top flight leader. He should move up fairly fast on the depth charts after development. He has the physical and mental talent to be a fine NFL starter with outstanding upside as a passer, but must refine all aspects of the position to be ready for the pro game. Probable early pick in the 1st round with the Jaguars, 49ers and Seahawks all interested. Top 10 prospect with the skill set to be a fine pro leader in time, but he is not ready for prime time playing time early in his career.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
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