Sanchez ranked 28th among NFL starters

July, 5, 2013
7/05/13
11:59
AM ET
Mark SanchezAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesIs Mark Sanchez better than a middle-of-the-road NFL quarterback?
Ron Jaworski has unveiled his NFL quarterback rankings. Starting from the bottom up, it didn’t take long for the name of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to appear. Jaworski, the ex-QB and current ESPN analyst, rates Sanchez 28th, above only Matt Flynn, Jake Locker, Kevin Kolb and No. 29 Chad Henne.

Jaworski notes that Sanchez, drafted in 2009, was the worst quarterback in the red zone, where one of his weaknesses was exposed.

"Sanchez must be outstanding off play-action," Jaworski said. "Last season he was not. Nine of his 18 interceptions came off play fakes."

Sanchez totaled 26 turnovers in 2012 -- the same number he had in 2011. In 2010, Sanchez had 13 turnovers and one lost fumble on the Jets' journey to a second straight AFC Championship Game. Jaworski concludes that Sanchez’s "ceiling is that of a midlevel starter, nothing more."

Sanchez isn’t having an easy summer. Between the cult-like status his butt fumble has achieved, to a more explicit homemade video that revived the joke, Sanchez is looking less like a fifth-year player and more like a kid who needs to grow up.

The Jets had a strong plan in place at the start of OTAs. Before David Garrard's bad knees forced him to retire, bringing in the veteran QB seemed like a smart way to ease Sanchez out of the starting position while giving rookie Geno Smith a year to develop.

Instead, the Jets are left to choose between Sanchez and Smith during a training camp competition.

"The bottom line is Sanchez continues to make too many throws that a quarterback with his experience level should not make," Jaworski said. "Sanchez is clearly trending downward in my evaluations. He has started 68 games in his NFL career, including the playoffs. The question now is whether he has what it takes to be a quality NFL starter. He has much to prove and a lot of work to do."
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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