On paper, USC star quarterback Mark Sanchez seems to have everything the Jets are looking for. He handled a tough conference call with the media brilliantly. And judging by the call, his grasp of the real world is uncanny. But will that transfer onto the field of play? How will it fly in New York? What about his experience? He only started 16 games for the Trojans.
Sanchez had all the answers. “Those 16 games have been very meaningful. They’ve been in a pro-style system, like I alluded to before,” said Sanchez, who threw 41 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 21 career games for the Trojans. “They’ve been on national stages. Every game here with the Jets is a Rose Bowl game. I know what that feels like. I know the anticipation.”
Remind you of anyone? How about Joe Namath? Although not as brash or accomplished as Namath, Sanchez is supremely confident, much like his new coach Rex Ryan. Ryan has no doubt Sanchez can be the man for the Jets.
“First off, we wouldn’t have traded for Mark if we didn’t think he had the ability to compete for the starting position,” Ryan said. “He’s going to have an opportunity.” The Jets, who traded up from 17 to get Sanchez with the fifth pick, didn’t stop there. They traded their third (76), fourth (115) and seventh round selections (228) for the Lions’ thirdround pick (65) and grabbed Iowa running back Shonn Greene.
With their final pick in the sixth round, they took Nebraska guard Matt Slauson. What does getting Greene mean for incumbent running back Thomas Jones? Jones is unhappy with his contract and wants his deal restructured. At 31, that might be a lost cause. The trade for Greene may not seem like a big deal to fans, but it shows the Jets mean business. The Jets have historically been late in the game when it comes to getting primetime players. Brett Favre, Boomer Esiason, Steve Atwater, Ronnie Lott, etc… were all primetime players acquired by the Jets well after their best seasons. This regime is clearly not willing to sit on its hands. They even made contact with Plaxico Burress’ agent. For a change, the Jets are ahead of the curve.