With former USC standout Mark Sanchez now leading the Jets into the AFC Championship game in Indianapolis this coming weekend, Mike Sando poses an interesting question to Seahawk and Rams fans:
Did these teams whiff on drafting Sanchez?
For Seahawk fans, it could be something to think about. Sanchez hasn't necessarily had a Pro Bowl year, but he's done well enough as a rookie to lead his team out of a personal slump and well into the playoffs. Did anyone honestly think Sanchez could do what Brett Favre couldn't do last year? I admit I didn't, and to be honest, Sanchez has done a lot, even with multiple injuries to his teammates.
But as far as the question of Sanchez's potential success in Seattle this year, it's probably better that he didn't get drafted into the situation we dealt with last year. Morale was in the toilet by the end of the year, and the starting offensive line was endlessly juggled around, desperate to find a combination of players who were a) healthy, b) could adequately protect Hasselbeck.
And because Hasselbeck took such a beating, I think it forced him into some really uncharacteristically bad decisions toward the end of the year. He played like he just wanted to get the ball out, and it led to more interceptions than anything else. The beating he took at the hands of Dwight Freeney, Mario Williams and Jared Allen seemed to add up to very bad things by the time Tampa Bay visited Qwest.
Could Sanchez have survived such a physical beating? Personally, I don't think it would've mattered if the Hawks had had Peyton Manning back there. When, as a quarterback, you're spending more time frantically running away from 300-pound men angrily chasing you than you are throwing the football, it just doesn't matter. That's the situation Hasselbeck was in, and it would've been no different for Sanchez.
I also think our actual fourth-round pick, Aaron Curry, will blossom as the years go on. Monster DE Mario Williams appeared to be a bust until fairly recently, and I think part of Curry's problem was bad coaching and a green coordinator. Look for him to have a much better year in 2010 without Jim Mora calling defensive plays.
So, Addicts -- Sando posed the Sanchez question for his readers, and I'm posing it now for you. Do you think the Hawks would've been better off selecting Mark Sanchez at No. 4 overall last year? Why or why not?