Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. Up next: number 29.
#29. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Forget about the “Butt-Fumble” for a second and think about where Mark Sanchez was in terms of his place as the Jets’ quarterback three years ago. In his first two years, we saw him in two AFC Championship games. Some say that was a fluke, as in Sanchez “didn’t do anything”, and it was a defensive team and centered around a strong running game on offense.
That may be true, but Sanchez himself clearly regressed after those two years.
I believe Sanchez will start Week 1 (that’s why he is on this countdown of starting quarterbacks), but will he produce like he did during his first two professional seasons or like he did over the last two years? Which Sanchez will show up?
Physical traits and athleticism
Physically, he’s just average. Sanchez doesn’t have blazing speed like RGIII has, and doesn’t have the height Joe Flacco has, but what he does possess (6-2, 225 pound body) is enough. Sanchez doesn’t make effective use of that skillset, however. Grade: 6/10
Sanchez doesn’t have the strongest arm. In fact, when throwing deep passes, the ball is often late or underthrown because of this. He is somewhat accurate on short and intermediate throws, but his timing seems to be off on many throws. I can recall at least three plays in 2012 where he was intercepted because the ball doesn’t get there on time. He has the ability to put the ball on target, but he’s not always able to do that. Grade: 5.5/10
Sanchez seems to have a relatively slow release (another reason as to why his throws are late). His footwork and pocket movement are also limited, resulting in turnovers inside the pocket and limited vision to make throws into throwing lanes. He needs to correct those little errors to become a better overall quarterback. Grade: 5.5/10
Sanchez often struggles to recognize blitzes and set his feet in the pocket, resulting in a bad throw or a turnover. He needs to read defenses, make audibles and adjustments, and should know what to do pre-snap. He led the league in red-zone turnovers, a stat which isn’t acceptable. In order to accomplish this, he needs to hit the film room hard. Grade: 4.5/10
There hasn’t been any legal trouble or issues on the field for Sanchez, but he hasn’t been able to capture the respect as a leader of his fellow Jets players. He has to work his behind off to be named the starting quarterback. I believe he will, at least to start the year. Grade: 5.5/10
Mark Sanchez can do one of two things this season: prove his worth as a starting quarterback and make everyone forget about what happened on Thanksgiving night, or get benched in favor of a rookie in Geno Smith. He has much to improve on after last season’s horrendous campaign. He is definitely capable of doing big things, as we saw in 2009 and 2010. Overall grade: 27/50