Sanchez, Stafford impress with poise

Quarterbacks show off their people skills while the bench press test boosts some surprising players and hurts a few others on Friday.

Originally Published: February 20, 2009
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS -- There was finally some on-field NFL combine action inside Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday. The kickers and punters began working out, and there's a whole new vibe surrounding the combine for more than just that reason.

First, defensive linemen and linebackers arrived in town, meaning all position groups except defensive backs are present and accounted for. Second, the skill position players -- including top quarterback prospects Matthew Stafford (Georgia) and Mark Sanchez (USC) -- weighed in and spoke with the media. Third, there's a certain calm-before-the-storm feeling of expectation swirling, as Saturday marks the first full day of workouts, with tight ends and offensive linemen taking the field.

With that in mind, here's a quick breakdown of some of the news and notes coming out of Friday's events:

• Stafford and Sanchez both took the podium for news conferences today, and they did not disappoint. Both appeared comfortable and flashed some personality in front of the more than 40 reporters in attendance. Stafford reiterated that he will participate in the agility drills and run the 40-yard dash but will not throw. Instead, he will wait until Georgia's pro day in Athens and throw to college teammates and fellow prospects WR Mohamed Massaquoi and RB Knowshon Moreno.

• Sanchez will participate in all the drills, including the throwing portion, and he has an excellent opportunity to make a positive impression. Although we believe he will show he has the necessary arm strength and sound accuracy, we do not believe he will make enough of a splash to move past Stafford on draft boards. That only reaffirms Scouts Inc.'s feeling that Stafford is making the right decision.