The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Mariucci and Mayock Pick Sanchez Over Stafford

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I was all ready to talk about Sanchez's specific attributes, and how well he'd fit in the West Coast Offense, but in hearing two conference calls in the last week -- one with former 49ers and Lions head coach Steve Mariucci, and one with NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock -- and standing on the article I just wrote about Sanchez for PreDraft, I'll just say that if you put Sanchez in the right system, one that emphasized creativity and route diversity and pocket movement, he'll do everything required to be a great player in this league. I have no doubt. Beyond that, I'll let two guys who know a lot more about the game than I do talk Sanchez up in a more eloquent way than I possibly could.

Steve Mariucci: If I'm coaching the West Coast Offense in the National Football League -- let's say that they put an expansion team in Iron Mountain, Michigan (Mariucci's hometown), and I'm the coach, and I'm running the West Coast Offense, I like Mark Sanchez a little more than Matthew Stafford. I like them both, but Sanchez is a little more suited to do this right now.

The style of play at USC is very much a pro-style offense. You see the quarterback under center most of the time. You see a quick game. You see play action and movement with this guy, like you like to do in the West Coast Offense. So, it's a pretty easy evaluation with Matt Sanchez. I know he only started the one year, but he's been coached in a pro scheme against pro-style defenses.

He was coached very well in high school by Bob Johnson at Mission Viejo [High], and he runs a lot of the same drills that we [WCO-oriented coaches and coordinators] run all the time. I know he's very well-prepared for this.

Mike Mayock: [Sanchez is] an intelligent kid that knows where and when to throw the football. Can pick up the offense quickly and get rid of the football, get it out of his hands.

I think there are three first round quarterbacks in this draft. I think [Matthew] Stafford and Josh Freeman have huge arms, they're both more athletic than people think for their size. And I think they've got tremendous upside.

I think the safest pick is Sanchez. Sanchez has a very good arm that I would compare his arm to Matt Ryan. And he's got the best accuracy and footwork amongst the three. I've been very positive on all three of them and I like all three of them. But I wouldn't bang the table for any of them like I did for Matt Ryan last year. Matt Ryan was my number one guy on the board all year long.

But amongst those three, Freeman reminds me of Joe Flacco both on and off the field. And I think if I had to pull the trigger in the top 10 pick with a quarterback I would take Sanchez because I would feel like his floor is higher than the other guys.

By Doug Farrar  |  April 22, 2009; 9:05 PM ET  | Category:  Detriot Lions , Doug Farrar , Draft , Seattle Seahawks , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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