Does Mark Sanchez Have What It Takes To Make It In The NFL?

Published on July 24, 2009 by     

Jets Camp FootballA’lot of Questions have abound since the Jets moved up and selected Mark Sanchez in the first round of this years Draft, most sites think he will be strong while others think he does not have the starting experience to make it in the NFL with the expectations the New York Jets have put on him.

With the fifth overall pick of the 2009 draft the New York Jets chose the 6’2”, 227 lbs. quarterback out of the University of Southern California. Sanchez is a possible risky pick for the Jets who need desperate help at the quarterback position. Sanchez is risky, not because of his skill, but because of his limited experience as a college starter. Sanchez will most likely get tested right away as the Jets starter.

Although Mark Sanchez started for only one year at USC, he made the most of it. USC is “Quarterback University” under coach Pete Carroll and Sanchez was no exception. Sanchez threw 41 touchdowns in 27 games. He led a vaunted USC Trojan team to a Rose Bowl bludgeoning of Penn State, winning the MVP award in the process. The Trojans ended the season with one loss.

Sanchez is a mature QB despite his inexperience at the college level. He sees the game unfold before him and makes few mental errors. Sanchez is able to make any NFL pass and makes it tough on the defensive backs with his quick delivery. He trusts his receivers to run the route. He also uses all of his weapons by spreading the ball around the field. It’s tough for the defense to key on any one offensive weapon.

The downside to Mark Sanchez is obvious: experience. With the Jets it is not likely that he will get a learning curve as an NFL quarterback. The schedule does not start out easy either with games against the Patriots and Tennessee in the first 3 weeks. The Jets chose Sanchez for his tremendous potential. We’ll have to wait to see if it pays off.

Strengths

Sanchez has an impressive array of skills for a pocket passer. He has decent size and the toughness to sit in the pocket, along with the arm you see you the traditional pocket passer. He can make all the throws and is an efficient and accurate passer all over the field. What separates Sanchez from most guys that sit in the pocket is his athleticism and mobility. He will not win any races, but he has excellent feet and has the agility to elude the rush and can pick up some yardage on the ground. He is also very tough and will remain in the pocket as long as possible, and will try to pick up the extra yard when he tucks the ball away. Sanchez is also very intelligent and picked up USC’s pro style offense quickly.

Weaknesses

Sanchez is a work in progress, as he only has one year of starting experience. There is no substitute for game experience, and he is lacking a bit. That lack of experience has led to some weak spots in his game. Sanchez can get emotional, and get too pumped up at times, which can make his throws sail to his receivers. His toughness can also work against him at times. There have been too many occasions where he will put his shoulder down to pick up extra yards when running the football. He will need to protect himself more in the NFL and learn to get down or out of bounds. There may be some potential durability issues with Sanchez, as he dislocated his kneecap before the start of his junior season and had a broken thumb the year before.

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