Mark Sanchez QB, USC
The Buccaneers hold the No. 19 pick, and they need a quarterback. Remember, they were bidding for Broncos QB Jay Cutler along with the Lions. Morris (Tampa's new head coach) was asked if, as a young, defensive-minded guy beginning his first head-coaching gig, he could see himself taking a quarterback if one of the top three fell to him. "If you've got an opportunity, if you feel a guy is a franchise guy, if you've got confidence in a guy, you take him. You have no reservations about it. That's the bottom line. I don't know who played linebacker, DT, secondary, anything when (the Colts) took Peyton Manning. I couldn't tell you who played those positions for them then, but I can tell you now."
In a somewhat surprising statement, when asked why he felt so good about Luke McCown, he responded with "No one knew Tom Brady before Drew Bledsoe got knocked out for the rest of the season. No one knew Matt Cassel before Tom Brady got knocked for the season. Why should Luke McCown be any different?" Well because he is no franchise quarterback. That's why. It's no secret the Bucs are rebuilding the team in the new regimes image. All of the starting linebackers are gone except Barrett Ruud, Ronde Barber is the only returning corner back, the defensive line is in flux and that's just on defense. The offense is returning some decent potential, especially after franchising Antonio Bryant (didn't he play with Fitz at Pitt?). The running game is still in decent shape with the bruising Earnest Graham waiting to retake the starting running back gig. But after opting not to re-sign Jeff Garcia and not having total trust in Luke "use the force" McCown, the Bucs have decided to take Mark Sanchez from the University of Southern California. He should stabilize one of the biggest weakness on the team.
Positives: Sanchez has prototypical size and athleticism that you look for in a QB and has solid mechanics and footwork. His arm strength isn't great but it's more than adequate and he's helped by a quick release. His athleticism does allow him evade a pass rush and he's very accurate passer, even on the run. His football IQ is very high and his game preparation is second to none.
Negatives: A lack of starting experience (16 starts) is the biggest knock on Sanchez although very few deny the kid's talent. He does have problems throwing the deep ball at times and a heavy pass rush can get him flustered. Durability is also a concern.
Overall: There's very little doubt that Sanchez has the physical tools and intangibles to be a quality starting QB in this league for quite a while but what ever team drafts him must realize that he's not a finished product yet. Most consider him most talented than Matt Leinart but his lack of game experience means he'd probably benefit from at least a year on the sidelines.
Many thanks to our very own hevchv for submitting this pick along with an excellent writeup. The Lions and Andrew602 are now on the clock, with the Eagles and AJBirdWatcher on deck. If anyone needs to refresh their memory on the draft order, check it here....