Tag Archives: Mark Sanchez

The Most Coveted Prospect

An Article By: Curtis Rukavina

tysonjackson1

With the draft a few days away, names such as Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Mark Sanchez and Aaron Curry are all considered the elite prospects in this draft. Yet there is an under-the-radar prospect who may be more sought after than any of those listed above. His name is Tyson Jackson and he is the most versatile player on the defensive line in this year’s draft. Jackson has the ability to play defensive end in the 3-4 alignment, as well as defensive end and nose tackle in the 4-3 alignment.

There have been many teams recently who have abandoned the 4-3 defense and introduced the 3-4 hybrid defense. This requires substantial change, as far as personnel is concerned. 4-3 defensive ends project toward the linebacker position in the 3-4, and defensive tackles in a 4-3 may not have a home at all in the 3-4 defense. Tyson Jackson benefits from being the top-rated defensive end prospect, bringing adaptability to both schemes.  It also helps that there are five teams in the top 10 picks that are in need of his services.

Kansas City recently overhauled their entire coaching staff and front office and made the switch from the 4-3 to 3-4. They simply don’t have all the personnel that is necessary to run the 3-4 defense and will look to address this through the draft. Scott Pioli played a large role in deciding who the Patriots would select in years past– and rarely failed. The Chiefs have been linked to Tyson Jackson and that is the highest I see him going.

Cleveland, Green Bay and San Francisco are all very likely destinations for Jackson if Kansas City chooses not to select him. Each of those teams have huge holes at the 3-4 defensive end position and would immediately benefit with Jackson on their roster . Jacksonville is a possibility based on their history of selecting big lineman whether to play defensive tackle or end in their 4-3.

I do not think he slips past the Broncos at the 12th pick, as they would have a steal if he fell to them. Tyson Jackson has all the intangibles and triangle numbers that make him a top prospect. It will show with his draft position on Saturday.

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Filed under Defensive Line, Player Analysis

The Surprise Candidate

Sanchez

USC Trojan junior quarterback Mark Sanchez has abruptly ended his career in So-Cal, and has opted to enter this April’s NFL draft. The decision appropriately shocked those in football circles, but as a matter of simple arithmetic, it all added up for Sanchez:

1. An impressive junior campaign, where Sanchez and the Trojans lost only one game. Bearing in mind that USC plays in the cake-walk PAC-10, the Trojans silenced their critics with the highly publicized decimation of the Ohio State Buckeyes in front of a nationally televised audience. Furthermore, Sanchez’s personal stats included 34 passing touchdowns, versus only 10 interceptions over the entire season.

2. A stellar bowl performance in the 2009 Rose Bowl, which saw Sanchez throw for 4 touchdowns and add one on the ground as the Trojans trounced the then No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions. Sanchez looked flawless, throwing for a career-high 413 yards, evading pressure, showcasing his arm strength, and emulating the composure of a great leader.

3. The decisions of both Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford to return to both Florida and Oklahoma, respectively. Both would have been near, if not at the top, of most scout’s quarterback rankings, and their abrupt omission from draft boards seemingly opened the door for Sanchez. He now only faces competition from Georgia’s gun-slinger Matthew Stafford for the title of number-one rated quarterback.

So what does this equate to?

Sanchez, all-of-a-sudden, becomes a realistic option for the Detroit Lions with the number one overall pick in the 2009 Draft. With their franchise amidst one of the biggest identity crises in sports history, the Lions may look to duplicate the success of the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens, in drafting a first-round “franchise” quarterback.

It must be said that both Matt Ryan (Atlanta) and Joe Flacco (Baltimore) are anomalies. Rookie quarterbacks are supposed to be lack-lustre and it would be unfair to hold Sanchez to this expectation. Given the publicized failure of recent underclassmen quarterbacks declaring for the draft, in addition to Sanchez’s blatant lack of starting experience, he undoubtedly has a lot of proving to do, before and after draft day.

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Filed under Player Analysis, Quarterbacks