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Friday, November 9, 2012
Around the NFC West: Party like it's not '09

By Mike Sando

Making it this deep into the week without discussing the 2009 NFL draft qualifies as an upset under the circumstances.

That was the year St. Louis used the second overall choice for tackle Jason Smith, Seattle selected linebacker Aaron Curry over quarterback Mark Sanchez at No. 4, San Francisco used the ninth pick for receiver Michael Crabtree and Arizona snagged running back Beanie Wells at No. 31.



The Smith and Curry picks busted, but as Facebook friend Justin mentioned on my Wall, the Seahawks should be increasingly thankful they didn't select Sanchez over Curry with the fourth overall choice.

Drafting a quarterback that early practically requires staying the course with him for years in the absence of evidence the choice is working out favorably for the team.

Sanchez hasn't shown much improvement, by most accounts.

The quarterback's completion percentage and NFL passer rating have remained flat. He has never posted a single-season Total QBR score in the above-average range: 31.6 in 2009, 48.0 in 2010, 33.6 last season and 32.2 so far in 2012. The Jets have gotten worse around him, and Sanchez hasn't been able to pick up the slack.

The team has stuck with him except for when it signed Tim Tebow as insurance.

Investing so much in a quarterback is different from investing so much in a linebacker. It's like being pot-committed in poker.

Meanwhile, Seattle bailed from the Curry experiment last season and immediately got better at linebacker. The team kept open its options at quarterback longer than a lot of fans would have preferred, but with Russell Wilson making strides in recent weeks, Seattle appears more likely than the Jets to have solved its quarterback dilemma.