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Mark Sanchez at Four

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Mark Sanchez

Birthdate: November 11, 1986

Height/Weight: 6'2 1/8/227

Position: Quarterback

College: USC, Started 16 games

Career Stats: 64.3%, 3965, 41 TDs, 16 Ints, 23 Sacks

My Take: Sanchez excelled in a pro style system and without great surrounding talent. Well, without great surrounding talent for USC. He has a well-rounded set of skills, from his footwork, to his ability to make short and deep throws. If you just watched the Rose Bowl, it's hard not to fall in love with the kid.

The problem with Sanchez isn't so much what we know, as what we don't know. He hasn't faced a lot of competition, especially top competition. He hasn't faced an adjustment from opposing coordinators. Especially noteworthy, he hasn't played from behind almost at all. In two years of collegiate football, he's played 143:59 of game clock when behind--barely more than two games. In 2008, he only played three top 30 defenses, and was behind in those game just 2:33. For the remaining 800 or so minutes of his career, Sanchez was playing with a lead, frequently of 20 or more points. That's a lot of snaps where Sanchez got to play against opponents forced to stop the run. And he wasn't just handing off, Sanchez recorded 21 of his 34 touchdowns while his team was up a touchdown or more.

It's these missing pieces of the puzzle, combined with frightening allegations about his character, that make Sanchez not a bad prospect, but a high risk prospect, and a very high risk prospect for a team selecting in the top five. Sanchez could bust in two distinct ways: on the field and off the field. Neither would or at least should be too surprising. So, my scouting eye sees a star: A quarterback with functional accuracy, a catchable ball, good decision making, an arm that can make all the throws, and a quarterback effective on the move. My rational side sees a lot of downside, and knows there's just too little information to know which outcome is more likely.