Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sanchez: Rumor Versus Reality?

by: Michael Steffes

There is lots of talk around the town today about Mark Sanchez being the Seahawks' top target. This was a development that could almost have been predicted.

First off, it was reported ten days ago that the Hawks and Sanchez had a dinner meeting the night before his pro day. Of course, the Hawks had a large contingent at the USC Pro Day, so they may have met with other USC players while they were in town. Mostly though, with USC being the pro team in L.A., the big news is Mark Sanchez. Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times doesn't have any info about whom the Hawks will take, he is just writing to USC fans who want to hear about Sanchez's draft prospects. Right now the Hawks were in town showing interest, and thus became the front runners. They also have the earliest pick of all the teams who met with Sanchez.

Secondly, the Hawks also had a large group at Matt Stafford's pro day, so judging just by that it is impossible to know which one they favor. Here is what we do know: by showing interest in quarterbacks, which is a very top heavy group this draft, the Hawks are more likely to get realistic offers for the #4 pick. Any team that needs a QB -- and there are more that need 'em than don't -- are now viewing the Hawks in the #4 slot as the team they have to jump over or trade with. It is also possible the Chiefs are the ones feeding out info about the Hawks liking Sanchez. No team has been able to trade out of the top 5 for last couple years, but if it were to happen one would think it would be for a potential franchise QB.

In the end, it is still three and a half weeks 'til the draft. If you are hearing about the Seahawks being interested in a player via the newspaper, it is in there for a reason, and I can't think of any scenario in which the team would benefit from educating the general public on whom they like. Keep in mind that NFL teams hire ex-FBI agents to dig into players' pasts so deep that they can find out if a guy farted in sixth grade gym class; they aren't going to run to the nearest newspaper guy and tell them who they are taking in the first.

Could the Hawks be interested in Sanchez? Sure, but it would go against most of the principals we have seen Tim Ruskell stick to over the last four years. Stranger things have happened, but until it does I am going to assume the Hawks wanted the world to know they were looking long and hard at Mark Sanchez. Now they will sit back and field calls for the next three weeks and see if they can't fall back 5 or 6 spots. ~END~