Jets Rise in Draft, Grab QB Sanchez

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2009 6:40 PM CDT
Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez celebrates after a touchdown against Notre Dame in Los Angeles.   (Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – The New York Jets have their franchise quarterback. The Jets selected former Southern California star Mark Sanchez with the fifth pick of the NFL draft today after trading with the Cleveland Browns to leap from the 17th overall spot. Sanchez, with his powerful and accurate arm and excellent field vision, will immediately compete for the starting job with Kellen Clemens.

"The only thing I can say to that is I've never grown up dreaming of being a backup," Sanchez said during a conference call. The pick was the first for new coach Rex Ryan, who repeatedly declared his confidence in Clemens and Brett Ratliff this off-season but believed Sanchez was too good a talent to pass up. "We saw the great feet, the poise and how confident he was," Ryan said.