It's that time of the year again. Mile High Report begins our annual 90 players in 90 days roster breakdown. Last year went fairly well, through August 27th, we'll break down every player on the Denver Broncos roster.
Name: Mark Sanchez
Height: 6'2" Weight: 226
Age: 29 Experience: 8th
Mark Sanchez was the 5th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He saw a ton of success early in his career making appearances in two AFC Championship games in the first two seasons of his career (only he and Ben Roethlisberger have achieved that much early success).
After that early success, he really appeared to hit a wall and didn't progress much with his last couple of years with the Jets. He ended up being released in 2014 and was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles.
He honestly played the best football of his career as an Eagle, with a respectable QBR of 88.4 in 2014 with 8 games of experience and a 116.1 (in only two games though) in 2015.
Sanchez joins a Denver Broncos team that is looking for an answer at QB after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler left for much "greener" pastures. His competition is a 2nd year 7th round draft pick who has more experience than he does in this offense and a 1st round rookie draft pick who is clearly the future of the franchise.
Sanchez has a lot of legit experience as an NFL QB. Everyone knows a great deal about his down-sides, but I think at times the overarching story of his past derptitude at times overshadows the actual skill that he brings to the table. He's seen a lot of action against multiple defenses which can go a long way in the NFL.
When he's got an easy read, 3-step drop kind of pass, he throws a very nice ball. He's got solid accuracy for the types of west-coast quick throws you'd like to see for a guy in the Gary Kubiak offense.
He also isn't afraid to use his legs and is a respectable athlete in his own right. He has often in his career made good scrambles to move the chains and get out of trouble. This also makes him a pretty good bootleg QB (another stable of the Kubiak offense).
Like any NFL QB, he is poor when pressured. But with Sanchez it has historically been beyond poor when the pressure mounts. I'm honestly not sure if it is because he's trying to hard to make something happen or what, but it seems like in the clutch when a pass rush shows up he has a penchant for bad decisions.
That being said, he's shown signs recently of removing the mistakes from his play. In 2015 he only played 2 games, but even when the games went south he didn't throw the ball to the other team.
Sanchez knows this is likely the apex opportunity of his NFL career and that he's been blessed with a really great chance in 2016:
"I definitely think that. I think it’s a new lease on my career. What a place to land. A quarterback-friendly system, a great defense, great special teams, a good running game, receivers that can go catch the ball and a revamped O-Line. I don’t know what else you want. Like I said, I knew coming in here there were a lot of things already in place. There was a big question mark at quarterback, and we’re just trying to erase that. Put my best foot forward and help this team win."
We've heard a lot of ups and downs so far in OTAs from Mark Sanchez. As always in Denver, all the talk this time of year is about the QB position. While it appears that Sanchez is fighting two guys for the starting role, we'll be able to sort this out in short order once training camp starts. Denver isn't going to keep evenly rotating guys as the season looms. They will want to get the realistic options most of the snaps.
Sanchez is in my opinion the most likely candidate of our QB corps to start week 1. He has the experience we need and he's certainly shown the right attitude for a guy coming to a team like ours: he works hard, has good leadership skills, and doesn't appear to feel entitled.
He's a shoe-in for making the 53-man roster. Whether he has the goods to be the starter is the question.