Monday, 16 February 2009

Draft minute: Mark Sanchez

ESPN's Todd McShay continues his draft minute series with a look at USC quarter back Mark Sanchez. Many were surprised at his decision to declare for the 2009 draft after only starting 16 games for the Trojans, but in a weak QB class he stands to earn a big contract as a likely first round pick.


Chris (Seattle) said...

Hey Rob. Thought I'd pass along Todd McShay was on Sportscenter this morning doing an interactive mock draft in studio. He hinted we could take Crabtree, but then backed off and instead kept BJ Raji as our pick. I guess the only good thing I can take from all of this is I cannot remember Todd McShay ever correctly predicting our draft picks. Plus, he has Crabtree dropping to the Raiders at 7, which maybe will help put some doubt in the top 3 teams taking him (though I doubt they put any stock in what any sports writer thinks, famous or not). I'm still confident Crabtree will be there, but I'm concerned Ruskell will pull the trigger. It's very rare for teams to trade into the top 3 from the 5th spot or below (and with the browns at 5, i doubt they trade up to get Crabtree). Using the draft value chart, it's just too high of a price to trade into the top 3. So, let's hope Ruskell steps up.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Chris, thanks for the heads up.

I'm suprised McShay is staying with this. It doesn't take a great deal of research to see Tim Ruskell values character and production very highly. Raji missing the entire 2007 season because his own team red shirted him for academic issues and then being suspended for punching an opponent, for me, screams anti-Ruskell.

A little more research shows how much the Seahawks rotate their DT's. Investing such a high pick in a DT makes little sense considering they are only likely to see 35 snaps a game.

As with you, I don't think it's a shoe in Ruskell would take Crabtree. It's very hard to predict his train of thought. I would be suprised if he took Raji, I also have some suspicion that he won't take an offensive tackle. He could spring a suprise and pick someone nobody expected.

But Crabtree is a play maker and would offer an almost immediate impact. It's not an issue that has been discussed much so far, but there is a bit of pressure on the Seahawks to bounce back in 2009. The team got a pass in 2008 because of the injuries and with Holmgren moving on. But this franchise has got used to being competitive. The fans will give Jim Mora (and therefore Tim Ruskell) an oppurtunity to set things right. But another sloppy year and questions will begin to be asked about the new era. The best way for Seattle to hit back is to rejuvenate their defense and find a way to become more effective on offense. Defensively, they have the quality but need to get healthy and find improvement from the front four in the pass rush.

Offensively, they need to find a new identity. The team have talked about a greater emphasis on the running game, but this likely only means a 50-50 pass/run split as opposed to the more pass friendly offense used by Mike Holgren. Teams regularly stacked the box against the Seahawks in 2008, restricting the ability to find gaps in the running game, increasing the number of blitzes on the QB and playing this with confidence as Seattle offered little threat with the receivers they had on the field and using three different quarter backs due to injuries.

I firmly believe that a play maker like Crabtree can not only produce a viable weapon for the quarter back and a genuine number one receiver, but also force teams to take great consideration to Seattle's passing game, releasing some of the pressure on the offensive line and opening up the running game.

Crabtree therefore, in my opinion, seriously warrants consideration. Whether Ruskell agrees is another thing. One thing to consider - a new regime often wants it's own quarter back to mould. Matt Hasselbeck is very much a Mike Holmgren protege and although he will almost certainly be the starting quarter back in the near future (again, with an emphasis on giving the team the best chance to bounce back from 4-12) the team may also leave the option open for a younger quarter back with an eye to 2010 and beyond.