Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Quarter back controversy

We promised fireworks one day before the deadline for eligible prospects to declare for the 2009 NFL draft and that's exactly what we're getting. Moments after Sam Bradford announced he will be staying with the Oklahoma Sooners, it was reported USC quarter back Mark Sanchez will forgo his senior season to head for the NFL.

Nobody expected this. It had previously been reported that if Bradford got through the BCS Championship game without suffering a serious injury he would declare. After winning the Heisman Trophy and scoring 50 touchdowns, his stock was high and some predicted he could be the first overall pick. Instead Bradford will get another shot at the Heisman alongside fellow finalists Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy.

Sanchez ended his year strongly with an impressive display in the Rose Bowl. Even so, many expected him to return for his senior year in So Cal. The news today could be a knee jerk reaction to Bradford's decision and there is still time for Sanchez to change his mind. Chris Mortensen reports that both his family and USC coach Pete Carroll have tried to discourage him from going pro.

How does this change the draft? Many expected it to be a Bradford vs Stafford battle to go first overall, could it now become a Sanchez vs Stafford contest? Is Sanchez a top five pick and could he become an option for the Seattle Seahawks? Interesting times ahead.


Michael Steffes said...

No way Sanchez is an option at 4 for the Hawks.

He has played 1 1/2 years as a starter. Don't forget JDB was the starter there last year and got hurt for only 3 or 4 games. Not a big enough body of work to take him at 4, especially considering how inconsistent their offense was this year.

Scouts are going to love Sanchez's arm, but he needed to stay another year.

Rob Staton said...

Personally I agree with you Mike, another year would have done his long term pro-prospects the world of good. I wonder how much Matt Leinart's struggles after staying for his senior year influenced this decision, alongside comments from scouts/NFL draft committee and then finally, Sam Bradford's decision.

I'm intrigued to research were experts are predicting Sanchez goes if he does declare.

MTJHoyas said...

Rob, what about Crabtree at 4 and if Sanchez slips into the 20s, trade our 3rd or 4th rounder and next year's first rounder to draft him? I have watched every game he has played at SC (not just Rose Bowl highlights) and he impressed me quite a bit. I am not a big numbers guy, but what I saw out of him was control of a pro style system, NFL toolset (good arm, accuracy, size, mobility), and a natural leader. I think the Rose Bowl showed the nation of what he can do and I think the defense really handcuffed him this year in regards to pushing the envelope offensively. I honestly believe he would be a steal in the 20s and the Hawks could let him learn from Hasselbeck and take the reigns in a few years. I think we are in a unique position because I highly doubt we pick in the top 10 next year (mid teens at worst in my opinion). So why not take advantage of our high draft position this year to not only address needs, but also build for the future. The second round pick could be an OT in the form of Eben Britton or Ciron Black and the third rounder could be S Rashad Johnson (highly underrated but not a workout warrior). I think it would be an effective mix of addressing needs now and building for the future. Any possibility or is this just an unrealistic dream of mine?

MTJHoyas said...

One other thing to add, Sark and Carroll say that Sanchez is the hardest worker (film room and practice field) they have had in their tenure at SC. Another reason I think he could be a steal and would have the added benefit of not having to start right away.

Rob Staton said...

An interesting proposition MTJ. I have to think Sanchez has been told he is going to go very early in this draft, possibly first overall. Otherwise I doubt he'd have made this decision. There are teams who would be very interested in taking a QB and due to a lack of depth at the position, I doubt he'll last until the 20's. I think it's going to be Stafford vs Sanchez to go first overall.

Even though the team have said Matt Hasselbeck will start next year, I don't think this completely rules out selecting a QB in the first round. It would be an expensive pick and I'm sure the Seahawks would rather get a more immediate return on their investment - but you dont often get a chance to draft a long term option at franchise QB. A Stafford or a Sanchez could sit behind Hasselbeck and Wallace in 2009 with a view to becoming the starter on 2010 or 2011. If Michael Crabtree and the highest rated tackle leave the board in picks two and three, selecting a quarter back becomes more of a possibility - as does selecting the best defensive prospect on the Seahawks draft board.

Dan C. said...

No way Ruskell looks at Sanchez. Anyone rememeber the rape charges he incurred at USC? Also the underage drinking and and fake ID charges? Although nothing ended up with actual criminal charges, the fact that those issues are public may cause the Hawks to take a pass.

I personally don't really care what he did in college, we all messed up at some point.

Hawk Fan for life said...

Since Crabtree has most often been mentioned as the most likely Seahawks pick, I have a few questions:

1) In his final collegiate game, he was noticeably limping. How series of an injury is it? How durable has he been?

2) Although he was a stud in college, I have heard some analysts discuss that he doesn't have the elite speed, height or separation skills to become a top line receiver in the NFL. True or false?

I'm for capitalizing on this draft to make this last season a distant memory and get the Seahawks back to the playoffs where they belong. This is a golden chance to get back into our winning ways!!

MTJHoyas said...

Rob, I agree 20s is highly unlikely but I still think it is quite possible because I think teams are going to have concerns about limited experience. Obviously he could have an amazing pro day and great interviews which would improve his stock. My thinking is that our horrible season gives much better value to next year's pick and I really doubt we pick in the top 10 again. My thinking is that you are getting a chance to pick up a top 5 talent later on and why not spend next year's first round pick that most likely will not be in the top 5? What about the notion of him being available in the mid teens? I know it is now down to him and Stafford, but I think teams will go with Stafford because of the experience and the fact he played behind a lackluster O-line (used to getting hit a lot). Your thoughts?

MTJHoyas said...

Not to mention, I don't think anybody thought Brady Quinn was going to last as long as he did in the draft. So just another thing to keep in mind.

Rob Staton said...

Hawkfanforlife -

1.Crabtree picked up an ankle injury in the final game of the regular season for Texas Tech. It was nothing too serious but he was determined to play in the bowl game with it being his final show with the Red Raiders. I think he's a durable guy in general but injuries to the ankle and knees are always worth checking out.

2. Crabtree certainly has the height and seperation skills to be a success in the NFL. He's not a burner in that he won't threaten Jeremy Maclin's 40 time, but he is explosive off the line and that's usually how he beats his man. Neither Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin posted fast 40 times, but Crabtree has regularly been described as a hybrid of the two, with the YAC of Boldin and the size, strength and hands of Fitzgerald.

MTJ - it's an interesting gamble. The Panthers spent their first rounder in 2009 on taking Jeff Otah last year and have managed to draft a talent that would not have been available when Carolina would have picked in this years draft. If Seattle are confident of improving next year and challenging in the post season, it's a gamble they could consider.

twasuperstar said...

I like the proposition, Hoyas, although I am a little wary of his lack of starting experience at USC. And after spending a first rounder a couple years back on Branch, I think Ruskell might think twice about pulling the trigger on such a deal.

There's also the Aaron Rodgers' selection at 24 in the '05 draft. Besides him and Quinn, who has yet to really get a chance to show his skills, there hasn't been many successful QBs taken in the second half of the 1st round the past few years.