This Draft Is All About Mark Sanchez

James ScottContributor IMarch 31, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 22:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez of USC passes the football during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 22, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

In Raiders land there seems to be a consensus that they should trade out of the No. 7 slot and collect additional picks. This also seems to be fanned by the hometown desire for the Raiders to drop into a spot where drafting Alex Mack makes more sense.

The focus of many Raiders blog sites and Raiders fans sites appear to be the Philadelphia Eagles, who happen to have two first round selections towards the back (No. 21 and No. 28).

However, there seems to be little desire on the part of Eagles, and any other teams in the NFL, to move towards the top of the draft.

Moving out of a top 10 draft slot is easier said then done in today's NFL. Most teams see the financial risk of signing a top 10 pick as greater then the reward.

The exception, however, may be when a "franchise quarterback" is available.

Conventional wisdom going into next month's draft appears to indicate that there are two quarterback prospects available that have the franchise tag on them.

Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez, in my estimations, are fairly evenly rated on most draft boards, and certainly worth top 10 picks.

Stafford has the bigger arm, but Sanchez can make every throw that Stafford can, plus he has the pedigree of the USC football factory oozing from every pore.

Sanchez just looks the part of the "face of the franchise for a decade."

I am certain Detroit will take a quarterback. If they do not there will be a riot outside the offices of the Lions. They simply have to start pretending to be a professional NFL franchise and get a quarterback to build around for the future.

If conventional wisdom holds, the Lions will take Stafford.

Conventional wisdom also holds that St. Louis (not entirely sure why not?), Kansas City, Seattle, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Oakland do not need a quarterback.

Now, Jacksonville at No. 8, San Francisco at No. 10, and Washington at No. 13 are all in the market for Sanchez. Because the Raiders sit at the pivot point of the Sanchez derby, just in front of Jacksonville, they may be able to use the No. 7 to collect a number of picks later in the draft from either their neighbors from across the Bay, or the Washington Redskins and their impetuous owner.

This trade day scenario hinges on two uncertainties.

First, despite the noises coming out of St. Louis, and conventional wisdom, I am not convinced they will skip Mark Sanchez with the No. 2 pick.

Second, Al Davis loathes trading down. Unlike other owners, Davis doesn't mind spending money for the opportunity to get first choice at premium talent.

However, this might be the year Davis is willing to move down.

There are only four or five prospects that truly merit a top 10 pick, including Stafford and Sanchez, followed by a bunch of prospects who are essentially equal in ability.

The odds are very high that the cream of the prospects will be gone when the Raiders pick. 

If Sanchez isn't selected by the Rams at No. 2, then the best possible scenario will see the Raiders trade down, with the Jags, Niners, and Redskins vying for their attention and the No. 7 choice in the draft.