Zack Sanchez Declares for 2016 NFL Draft: Latest Comments and Reaction

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2016

Dec 31, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Zack Sanchez (15) prior to the 2015 CFP semifinal at the Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

One day after Oklahoma's season ended in defeat, cornerback Zack Sanchez has decided to enter the 2016 NFL draft. 

Sanchez announced his decision on Twitter.   

The junior standout had his best season in 2015, recording a career-high seven interceptions and 3.5 tackles for loss in 11 games. 

Despite Oklahoma's 37-17 loss against Clemson, Sanchez did provide a nice moment for the Sooners by intercepting a pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson late in the first half. 

This is a good time for Sanchez to strike while the iron is hot, though he does have to show NFL scouts some things during pre-draft workouts to improve his stock. He's currently ranked eighth among draft-eligible cornerbacks by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports provided a scouting report for Sanchez in Novmber, highlighting his ball skills and hand-eye coordination but acknowledged one big problem he could have moving to the next level.

"Sanchez is a string-bean with limited strength, which is exposed on his tackle attempts as he often needs help to finish guys off," Brugler wrote. "He has wild footwork and lower body technique with impatient feet off the snap, allowing receivers to gain spacing and pick up chunk yardage underneath."

Oklahoma's athletic website lists Sanchez at just 179 pounds, so he will need to add a lot of bulk in order to wrap up NFL-sized wide receivers. He does have good cornerback height at 5'11", so there's a good foundation to work with. 

Sanchez is a player who has gotten better in each of his three college seasons, which is exactly what NFL scouts want to see when evaluating a player. He's got plenty of work to do before the draft in April, but the pieces are in place for him to jump up draft boards over the next four months.