Jets' Sanchez ranks 23rd on ESPN analyst's QB list
By Brian Costello
ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski is counting down his top 30 quarterbacks in the NFL. On Monday, he revealed Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as No. 23 on his list.
Sanchez comes in several spots higher than backup Tim Tebow (No. 30) and ahead of fellow AFC East quarterbacks Matt Moore (26) of the Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick (24) of the Bills. That leaves just Tom Brady of the Patriots ahead of him in the rankings, which Jaworski is revealing each day on "SportsCenter."
Here is what Jaworski had to say about Sanchez, courtesy of the ESPN Public Relations department:
“The 23rd-rated quarterback on my big board is Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is a complementary quarterback. He’s at his best working off a strong running game with defined reads. That allows him to get the ball out quickly, within the structure and the timing of the offense. The play-action pass really helps Sanchez, especially out of base-personnel packages. Remember, the Jets’ offensive foundation is the run, a lot of multiple tight-end sets and normal down-and-distance situations.
“This 33-yard completion on first and ten was a great example. There were three tight ends on the field. What do you get defensively? A strong safety down in the box, with a single deep safety cheated toward (wide receiver) Santonio Holmes. You get a staple route combination against single high, the post cross. Holmes’ post route threatened both the corner and the deep safety. With the corner running with Holmes, an entire area was voided. A defined and easy read. Pitch and catch. Sanchez is most effective throwing in the middle of the field, between the numbers. He lacks the arm strength demanded to drive the ball to the outside with the necessary velocity. But he’s made some very good seam throws.
“After three years in the league, Sanchez continues to struggle in two critical areas: decision-making and down-field accuracy. It’s why he’s No. 23 on my list. When he plants his back foot, doesn’t get what he wants and then has to re-load, he loses clarity. While Sanchez has been able to throw effectively on the run, when it’s designed, he’s often reckless and erratic when forced to leave the pocket. The ability to take advantage of shot plays has been a problem. Design big plays in which you get what you want. The Jets shifted Joe McKnight outside the numbers. A linebacker bumped out with him. That’s what you anticipated when you game-planned this during the week. You have to hit those throws. Sanchez didn’t even give McKnight a chance.
“Sanchez has shown some very positive attributes that will fit well with Tony Sparano’s run-first approach, to his offensive design. But to move up on my big board, Sanchez must improve his coverage recognition and his intermediate to deeper accuracy. Otherwise, he’ll remain a player with limitations.”