The NFL draft is a touchy situation for quarterback hopefuls. More than any other position, team need stands the greatest determining factor of a young signal caller’s descent. You can appear near the top of a list of prospects for the position, but still inevitably see a sizable gap between the first quarterback taken and your draft selection.
Sanchez is projected as the No. 2 overall quarterback prospect on most mock draft boards, but those same boards have him going late first or early second round. Quarterback is a high risk draft choice, and to guarantee a top 10 overall selection, it would be more comforting to maintain the top prospect ranking.
The NFL Scout combine will allow Sanchez that opportunity. For many scouts, it will be their first up close and personal look at the kid with only 16 collegiate starts. Sanchez also becomes the big name among hurlers, with speculation that Georgia’s Matthew Stafford won’t work out in the upcoming event.
It’s not uncommon for potential first overall selections to skip workouts. Hell, Matt Ryan did it last year, electing to show up for only the measurements and interviews. Regardless, Ryan was still drafted 3rd overall and represented the first quarterback off the board. Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree has elected not to run the 40 at this year’s combine, citing a nagging ankle injury. And it’s rumored that our own Rey Maualuga will be skipping combine drills, electing to wait for the USC Pro-Day to make his impression.
The lack of experience under center seems to be the greatest concern for scouts evaluating Sanchez. You hear reports of inconsistency when describing Stafford, but never any negatives in reference to the physical tools and game management of USC’s early entrant. The Combine workouts begin on February 18, and Sanchez will be given 7 days to convince everyone that even his lack of experience is worth the draft risk.