Sanchez redshirted his first season with the Trojans, then threw just seven passes as a freshman in 2006. As a sophomore last year, he played in eight games(starting three for an injured John David Booty) and threw for 695 yards while completing 60.5% of his passes for seven scores and five interceptions. Sanchez took over as a junior, and had a phenomenal season. He was an All Pac 10 1st teamer after completing 65.8% of his passes for 3,207 yards and 34 touchdowns, with just ten interceptions.
Sanchez has an impressive array of skills for a pocket passer. He has decent size and the toughness to sit in the pocket, along with the arm you see you the traditional pocket passer. He can make all the throws and is an efficient and accurate passer all over the field. What separates Sanchez from most guys that sit in the pocket is his athleticism and mobility. He will not win any races, but he has excellent feet and has the agility to elude the rush and can pick up some yardage on the ground. He is also very tough and will remain in the pocket as long as possible, and will try to pick up the extra yard when he tucks the ball away. Sanchez is also very intelligent and picked up USCís pro style offense quickly.
Sanchez is a work in progress, as he only has one year of starting experience. There is no substitue for game experience, and he is lacking a bit. That lack of experience has led to some weak spots in his game. Sanchez can get emotional, and get too pumped up at times, which can make his throws sail to his receivers. His toughness can also work against him at times. There have been too many occasions where he will put his shoulder down to pick up extra yards when running the football. He will need to protect himself more in the NFL and learn to get down or out of bounds. There may be some potential durability issues with Sanchez, as he dislocated his kneecap before the start of his junior season and had a broken thumb the year before.
Sanchezís blend of skills give him the potential to carry the franchise quarterback label. He can pick apart a defense from the pocket or get out and make things happen on the move. He will need time to develop his skills, but he will be in a battle with Matthew Stafford until draft day for the right to be the top QB selected. Stafford is on the odds on favorite for that honor, but Sanchez is still a first round lock.. While Stafford chose not to compete in passing drills at the combine, Sanchez did. He didnít set the workout on fire, but he performed well and impressed some teams with his competitiveness. With Stafford the likely top QB, Sanchezís stock will depend on where Stafford goes. If Stafford falls, Sanchez falls. If Stafford goes at #1, Sanchez could go as high as #4. Jay Cutler and his situation with the Broncos could also cause Sanchez to slide a bit. If one of the teams considering Sanchez in the mid first trades for Cutler, then Sanchez slides a bit more. Wherever he goes, Sanchez has all the tools and the make up to be a star in the NFL, and he will make some team very happy they pulled the trigger.