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Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez: Who Has the Brighter NFL Future?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 01:  Quarterback Matthew Stafford #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs calls out a play at the line of scrimmage while taking on the Florida Gators at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida defeated Georgia 49-10.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
John LeveringContributor IApril 14, 2009

With the NFL Draft approaching, teams in need of a quarterback are debating on who is better—Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez.

If history tells us anything, it's that picking a star quarterback early in the draft is nothing more than a crap shoot.

Ask San Diego how the feel about taking Ryan Leaf, or even ask the Houston Texans how David Carr performed for their franchise.

In this year's draft, there are two notable top QBs: Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.

Stafford, the former gunslinger from the University of Georgia, has caught the eyes of many scouts his whole life. Upon his enrollment into UGA in 2006, he was touted as the No. 1 QB of his senior class, ahead of Tim Tebow, Mitch Mustain, and Jevan Snead.

He earned a starting role at QB his freshman season and never relinquished the job throughout his time at the university. Early in his collegiate career, he was plagued by a high amount of INTs. However, as he progressed, his amount of INTs was no longer a worry of the scouts.

 

Stafford finished his career at UGA with a 3-0 record during bowl games, and an All American award from Pro Football Weekly.

Stafford has a rocket arm and a quick release, two attributes scouts look for. He can also make a plethora of throws while on the move, which has often been overlooked by his critics. His skill set, experience, and leadership help make him a top prospect.

However, there is another top notch QB in the 2009 draft class. Mark Sanchez, a product of QB School, better known as USC, is vying to be an elite NFL QB. Sanchez would be the the fifth USC quarterback drafted in this decade.

Sanchez is coming off a phenomenal season, which entailed 34 touchdowns and a completion rate of 65.8 percent. Sanchez has incredible poise in the pocket and has an unrivaled accuracy for his throws. In his junior campaign, he lead USC to an 11-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory.

If Sanchez has such a tremendous skill set then why is he not the obvious No. 1 pick?

Well, Sanchez has only 16 starts at the collegiate level under his belt. His lack of experience has caused for some NFL teams to be weary of his future.

In all likelihood, Matthew Stafford will be the first QB taken in the 2009 draft, but should that be the case?

Despite all of the knocks on Sanchez, he has a brighter upside than Stafford and will likely have a better team to work with in the NFL. In several years, when everyone looks back on the 2009 draft, they will say how Mark Sanchez has developed and played better than Matthew Stafford has.

 

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