Former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez is gaining increased interest from a lot of teams as the NFL draft approaches and national analyst Rob Rang says the Seahawks are among those intrigued by the Trojan’s talents.
While it has been widely assumed that Georgia’s Matt Stafford will be the top quarterback in the April 25 draft and the Seahawks would not pass on him if he’s available at their No. 4 selection in the first round, Rang said Sanchez is inserting himself into that conversation as well.
“I do believe they’ll consider Sanchez at four, regardless if Stafford remains on the board or not,” Rang told seattlepi.com on Sunday.
Sanchez put on an impressive display at USC’s pro day tryout session last week and much of the Seahawks’ brass was in attendance.
Rang, a senior analyst for nfldraftscout.com, has Seattle selecting Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry in his latest mock draft.
But Rang acknowledged that the Seahawks seem increasingly intrigued by Sanchez at that spot even though he started just one year at USC before declaring for the draft as a junior.
“Sanchez is a Hasselbeck clone in that he is a cerebral, gutty quarterback that inspires his teammates with his play,” Rang said. “He is mobile, has good accuracy to all levels and has the arm strength to make every throw. Sure, you wish he had more game experience, but his talent is undeniable and if Seattle is going to take him, obviously they’d be doing so with the intention of him sitting for at least a year anyway.”
I wondered if the Seahawks might consider trading down a few spots and then grabbing Sanchez, given Rang and most experts have widely agreed that the top four prospects — Stafford, Curry and offensive tackles Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe — were a notch above everyone else.
But Rang nixed that notion, since a number of teams right behind Seattle in the draft appear interested in Sanchez as well.
“He is a definite top-10 talent, so if Seattle wants him, they’ll likely take him at four rather than chance losing him by moving down a few spots,” Rang said. “There is talk that Cleveland (5) and Jacksonville (8) are both interested in Sanchez, as well.
“Denver could be, too, and the Broncos have the two first round picks to move up and get him (or Stafford) if they’d like.”
Here is nfldraftscout.com’s analysis of Sanchez as well as a Los Angeles Times report on his pro-day showing and his new-found support from USC coach Pete Carroll.
Whether the Seahawks truly are taken by the 22-year-old Trojan remains to be seen. But one thing seems certain. The intrigue over who Seattle might opt for at No. 4 is beginning to heat up.