NFL Draft Day Headline

Diego MorenoContributor IApril 28, 2009

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the USC Trojans celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions at the 95th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi on January 1, 2009 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Jets were the talk of the first round, leaping all the way from 17th to fifthto pounce for Trojan star quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Jets now have their franchise quarterback. The trade works for the Cleveland Browns, which swapped its fifth pick with the Jets. The team avoided the big money guaranteed contracts that top ten picks command in the NFL, holding tight to that loot for signing other players down the line. The Browns' strategy today is to keep trading down and collect more picks because they've got a lot of holes to fill; this is very smart and cost-efficient. The new Browns brain trust is already earning its money.

The Jets needed a franchise quarterback in a bad way, and probably made the big move up to fifth to beat the Washington Redskins—who were also in the market for a starting signal caller. Sanchez is a big time player who commandeered So Cal's dazzling pro style offense to a 12-1 record. USC's offense more than prepares its quarterbacks for the NFL and the fact that Sanchez excelled in that sophisticated offense, shows that he is NFL-ready. Sanchez has pro Bowl-caliber talent, following in a recent line of quality USC quarterbacks: Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Matt Cassel.

At the seventh spot (the Oakland Raiders make a bizarre pick) is Darrius Heyward-Bey WR. He's very raw and and doesn't have great hands. Why they didn't draft Michael Crabtree is beyond me, but these are the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis went for blinding speed and that's why this pick was made. At 10, the San Francisco 49ers grabbed Crabtree. That was the correct pick—he is the most talented player available at 10 and the 49ers must be ecstatic to find Michael Crabtree still on the board. Crabtree is 6'1" and 215 lbs., with great hands, and he is a pro bowl-quality receiver. Some character concerns coming into the draft: Mike Singletary will weed those out in a hurry; it's an excellent pick. Crabtree has speed to burn, a great work ethic, fights for passes, and scores touchdowns, and is a special talent. Is Crabtree the new Jerry Rice? Time will tell.


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