According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Sanchez family arranged a meeting with Joe Mendes, the vice president of football operations for the Washington Redskins, and a good friend of Pete Carroll. It was a consultation, with the family weighing their son’s future options, though the USC redshirt junior quarterback claims he was unaware of the details. USC is an NFL football factory, and Coach Pete Carroll is an NFL guy with NFL ties, so these meetings aren’t uncommon, though it may have come earlier than others I can remember. Last year, a meeting was set up for all daft eligible players, with NFL scouts informing them of possible draft status, and decisions were made from there. That assembly occurred after the Trojans' final regular season game.
Sanchez claims he’s committed to returning to Southern California in 2009, but the entire scenario reminds me of Reggie Bush in his junior year. Bush openly stated that he hadn’t made any decision about a possible NFL jump, and was weighed more towards a return. On the other hand, his step father informed the press that his son would be forgoing his senior year and entering the NFL draft. You may also remember in that same year, with the end of season meeting set up with NFL advisors, Lendale White was absent, with his decision apparently made months prior.
As much as the Empire would love to have Sanchez for one more season, I would say the time to make the jump is now. His large frame, big arm, and work in a pro style offense make his stock high. Even if Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford opts to make the jump, the quarterback field is still mostly thin. The Sanchez negative would be his gambling mentality, often making ill-advised tosses, when it’s best to surrender the down and throw the ball harmlessly to the turf. But if the comparison’s to Carson Palmer are correct, with Palmer going as the No.1 overall pick in his draft class, Mark Sanchez should be a definite first round choice.