The League

Rob Rang
Draft Guru

Rob Rang

Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com

Sanchez Fits Seattle

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Much has been made of Mark Sanchez's rising stock. As perhaps the only media member who viewed his Combine performance live, as well as attended USC's Pro Day, I can understand why Sanchez is moving up so quickly. Despite less than ideal experience, you see the strong, accurate arm in workouts to excite scouts. More importantly, of course, you see Sanchez consistently make the correct read on film. For a passer with only 16 starts, he is very impressive in his technique, ability to read defenses, "feel" in the pocket and poise amid pressure, both on and off the field.

I believe that many of the high ranking quarterbacks that are ultimately "busts" do so because they are not properly surrounded with talent or are pushed onto the field too soon. I understand the pressure to play a guy that just signed for tens of millions of dollars, but the success ratio for highly drafted passers who have sat and learned is considerably better than those who have been thrust into the starting position. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco proved me wrong in this point last year, but they went to teams with an extraordinary combination of a powerful running game and defense. They may turn out to be superstars in the NFL, but their immediate success was just as much (or more) due to the team around them, than their own ability. Their success should not be used as evidence that quarterbacks should be thrown into the fire. Ryan and Flacco were exceptions to the rule.

Following this same line of thinking -- that quarterbacks should sit first -- Seattle appears to be the best early round fits for Mark Sanchez. In Denver, Cleveland, and San Francisco, without an established starter, Sanchez could be thrown into the mix too soon.

Seattle, on the other hand, has a franchise quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck, who, while athletically gifted, has developed into a Pro Bowler due to his intelligence and work ethic. The cerebral, gutty veteran could impart the same advice he learned under the tutelage of Brett Favre and Trent Dilfer into Sanchez. Should Hasselbeck get hurt, Sanchez is still protected, as the Seahawks have a viable backup in Seneca Wallace, and thus could even more assure that Mark Sanchez learned from the sidelines in his first season.

By Rob Rang  |  April 22, 2009; 6:41 PM ET  | Category:  Draft , Seattle Seahawks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Two Likely Suitors | Next: Mariucci and Mayock Pick Sanchez Over Stafford

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