Mark Sanchez Could Become the No. 1 Pick

Enlai PensadoContributor IJanuary 17, 2009

It's too early to place accurate mock drafts, but it's the first time I hear a Mexican boy will hear his name on the draft.

I understand Mark is American, but as much as I know, Mark Sanchez has right to double nationality since he's son of a Mexican and under Mexican laws, that makes him a Mexican. He can't pretend to be President of Mexico, because he's born in the USA, but he's as Mexican as tequila itself.

But that's a mere formalism, the kid's proud of his origin as shown when he uses a Mexican flag on his mouthpiece. In fact, he's trying to better his Spanish pronunciation in order to become a role model for US latin community, and for a large NFL Mexican fan base.

He declared for NFL Draft after having an amazing Rose Bowl and knowing Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford are returning for their senior seasons. As today, some analysts like's Chris Steuber are picking him as the best QB in this draft, and given the current situation of Detroit that means he would be selected first overall.

On my Mexican ears that sounded too good to believe, but then I started a small research to try to find some valid arguments about it.

Obviously, his performance at the Rose Bowl was like a dream come true, whose stats are astonishing, by completing 28 of 35 passes, meaning 80 percent of completions, consolidating four passing TD without INT and a 216.83 of QB rating. Also he added 16 yards and a running TD.

By comparing Mark Sanchez with previous USC stars, there's a high expectation for such a high pick for Mark. Why? Starting with Matt Leinart whose record in his final season was the same at 12-1 (bowl included) with very similar percentage of completion, but unlike Leinart, Sanchez won the bowl game.

Matt Leinart and Carlson Palmer got Heisman on their resume, but Mark Sanchez set a new school record of 34 TD in a season. Another way to compare these players is by their percentage of completions, where Mark Sanchez leads with 65.8, over 63.2 of Carlson Palmer, 65.7 of Matt Leinart and 63.2 of John David Booty.

Mark's best single season QB rating is 164.64 versus 157.74 of Leinart (during Sr season in 2005), 144.01 of John David Booty (during JR season in 2006). There's no QB rating for Palmer because this stat wasn't calculated during his college years.

Unlike Leinart and Booty, there hasn't been any argument of Mark's success being product of the system, something that analyst said caused them to fall deeper in the draft.

With a team coming from 0-16, there´s a big chance that Detroit will fill holes on defense since they never stopped anyone during 2008, but after watching Joe Flacco and Mat Ryan having very satisfying rookie seasons, the hype is on QB.

Mark Sanchez isn't alone as talented passer entering NFL, and Mattew Stafford is tagged as the best for many scouts, so there seems it will be a close race for the top position.

Thus said, I see a brilliant future for Mark, who must prepare a hell to show his worth and keep a high stock for draft day.