Rams buy Mark Sanchez a plane ticket

According to NFL.com, the Rams, who own the second pick in Saturday’s draft, have apparently bought a plane ticket for quarterback Mark Sanchez to travel to St. Louis on Sunday.

One thing that could be legit or be a ploy (it is interesting, if nothing else): The Rams, who hold the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, have purchased a plane ticket for USC QB Mark Sanchez to fly from Los Angeles to St. Louis on Sunday, when the team plans to introduce its top selection.

While the Rams have bought a ticket (hopefully, it’s refundable), they might not select Sanchez.
The thinking emanating from a lot of folks around here is that St. Louis will select Baylor OT Jason Smith. The Rams need to find a left tackle to replace veteran Orlando Pace, who was released in a cost-cutting move.

The Rams could be trying to generate some trade interest in keeping Sanchez’s name out there, but for a team that has won just five games in two seasons, drafting wisely would be prudent, to say the least.

Nonetheless, the plane ticket for Sanchez is intriguing.

As the article suggests, is this just part of the Rams’ master scheme to try and garner trade interest in the No. 2 pick or are they seriously planning on drafting Sanchez? They did seek, and were granted, permission by the NFL to negotiate a contract with a player if the Lions signed their prospect before the draft. Considering the Lions already have a deal in place with linebacker Aaron Curry and are working feverishly to sign Matthew Stafford, maybe St. Louis really does plan on selecting Sanchez. After all, Marc Bulger is on his last legs and it’s not like the Rams are developing a youngster behind him right now.

My question is, if they buy a plane ticket for Sanchez and don’t take him, are there any repercussions to that? I would have to assume that the Rams would have thought of that before buying the ticket, but it’ll be interesting to see if there is anything in league rules that says a team can’t do something like that before the draft.

What a bizarre story.

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Jets to trade up for Mark Sanchez?

According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and a report by the New York Daily News, the Jets will look into trading up for USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Southern Cal QB Mark Sanchez is the draft’s hottest player and the Jets are expected to make a run at moving up from their No. 17 spot in an attempt to get him on Saturday. The problem is that Sanchez is so hot, he might go in the top five, which is way out of the Jets’ reach.

If he gets to the Jags’ spot at No. 8, the price would be a second-round pick and a little more. That would be a wise investment for the Jets. They need a quarterback.

I love it. Three months ago, Sanchez couldn’t hold Matthew Stafford or even Ryan Leaf’s jock strap and now the Rams, Seahawks, Browns, Jaguars, Redskins and Jets will all apparently be tripping over themselves in order to get him come Saturday.

It’s hard to trust anything you read days before the draft. You just don’t know what teams are trying to trade down and therefore are lying through their teeth in order to scare other teams into trading up. All of them are using smokescreens right now and the media is eating everything up trying to be the first to report rumors.

I’m sticking with my prediction that he’ll be a Cleveland Brown by the end of the day Saturday, but I fully recognize that the Rams, Seahawks, Jaguars, Redskins, Jets, Bucs, Falcons, Cowboys, Bears, Broncos, Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers, 49ers, Saints, Panthers and Colts are all very, very interested in the next coming of Y.A. Tittle.

Seahawks to take Crabtree at No. 4?

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News seems to believe that the Seahawks will take either USC quarterback Mark Sanchez or Texas Tech wideout Michael Crabtree with the No. 4 pick in this weekend’s draft.

Vacchiano also had some other interesting tidbits in his “draft hints” article.

• LSU DE Tyson Jackson will go in the Top 5. Not might. Will. This qualified as the biggest shocker, to me, since almost every mock draft I looked at pegged Jackson to be a mid- to late first-rounder at best. I thought the Top 5 was pretty locked in, too. But, of course, I shouldn’t have doubted Mr. Brandt. I asked around after the show to see if I could confirm it, and sure enough one NFL source I know did tell me he’s heard the Kansas City Chiefs might take Jackson at No. 3, or trade down and take him a few picks later.

• The Seattle Seahawks, at No. 4, will likely select either Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree or USC QB Mark Sanchez.

• The Saints, at No. 14, are looking for a big cornerback, and Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins is a good bet to be their guy.

• The New England Patriots, at No. 23 will take a linebacker.

• Oklahoma T Phil Loadholt (6-7, 332) will go in the first round of the draft. His teammate, G Duke Robinson (6-5, 330, and the top-rated guard on most boards), will not.

These are some interesting thoughts and while I don’t disagree with any of Vacchiano’s tidbits, a lot of these seem to be a stretch. Tyson Jackson will definitely go in the top 5? Phil Loadholt will be a first rounder?

The most noteworthy item in Vacchiano’s article is that the Seahawks will take either Sanchez or Crabtree at No. 4. Taking Sanchez makes sense for Seattle because Matt Hasselbeck is aging and is coming off an injury-plagued season. Crabtree makes sense because even though the Hawks signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a huge contract this offseason, Housh is 31 and would benefit from having another playmaker on the opposite side of him. (Crabtree would also arguably be the best player available at that spot.)

But does Seattle really want to sink that much money into one position? Generally speaking, NFL teams don’t like to do that – especially at the wide receiver position. I’m sticking to my guns in saying that Seattle takes offensive lineman Eugene Monroe at that pick, but I’m not shooting down anything Vacchiano wrote.

Why Mark Sanchez will be a Cleveland Brown


Have you heard the latest draft rumors on Mark Sanchez? Apparently only the Lions, Rams, Seahawks, Browns, Jaguars, 49ers, Jets, Redskins and Broncos are either in love, smitten or downright want to get in bed with the USC quarterback.

Is that all?

It seems every day rumors of a new team being interested in Sanchez emerge and while it’s easy to get caught up in all the pre-draft speculation, it would obviously be wise not to believe everything you hear. That said, with the draft quickly approaching, I’ve thoroughly convinced myself that Mark Sanchez will in fact be a Cleveland Brown.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire and there’s a ton of smoke coming out of Cleveland that new head coach Eric Mangini isn’t a big Brady Quinn fan. Along with daily Sanchez-is-going-here speculation, there have been just as many Quinn-will-be-traded-here rumors. Maybe Mangini and new GM George Kokinis are just throwing up smokescreens to keep other teams guessing at what their draft day plans are. Or maybe (and this seems more logical by the day) Mangini and Kokinis want to blow up the entire roster and start over and that’s why Kellen Winslow was traded to the Bucs, Braylon Edwards will soon be dealt to the Giants and Quinn will be jettisoned to parts unknown.

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