Kiper on Sanchez: No. 13, to Washington … or Seattle … or Jacksonville …

From an ESPN conference call today with Mel Kiper Jr., on the upcoming NFL draft, his longwinded take on the future of USC quarterback Mark Sanchez and why coming out now instead of next year may not have been in his best draft interest:

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“Had he gone back, he would have been battling Sam Bradford to be the No. 1 pick overall (in 2010). That’s pretty guaranteed. With the talent they have with Damian Williams, the great receiver there emerging this season, they would have had him in place to be the No. 1 pick overall or Bradford. The fact that he comes out early, I thought he was the fifth-best player. I talked to some people … they were amazed when people had him down the line like they did at 17 to the Jets in an early projection.

“I have him 13 to Washington because I thought about putting him to Seattle and I was told not to. I still think Seattle is a possibility. And, once you don’t put him to Seattle, then you have a problem. I had him at Jacksonville and was told that they like him but they aren’t going to take him. San Francisco, I’ve been told, they’re not going to take a quarterback. Eight could be traded, 10 could be traded. That means someone can jump in there. …

“He’s a hot guy right now because of the fact that he’s what you want in terms of accuracy. And that’s not just in the pocket, that’s not just when he has all day to throw. He can roll right, he can roll left and throw accurately. His completion percentage was through the roof at around 66 percent this year. His touchdown-interception ratio was outstanding. He played through that knee injury early on and he didn’t have a great supporting cast early on. Damian Williams emerged as the year went along. His offensive line was a rebuilt group. …

“I think when you look at what he was able to do this year with the numbers he put up, and the skill level he has and the football acumen, the smarts, the intelligence, the passion for the game, the enthusiasm for the game that he has, he’s got a lot of Chad Pennington in him. He’s got a little bit of Troy Aikman, in terms of accuracy. He’s got a lot of good quarterbacks wrapped up in Mark Sanchez. That’s why all the buzz seems to be about Sanchez right now.”

That said, Kiper has QB Matt Stafford going No. 1 overall to Detroit: “I would expect Stafford to go No. 1. I don’t have any inside information on what Detroit’s thinking in terms of obviously they want to have this guy signed before the draft if they can. To me it would be the obvious pick. That’s what they need.”

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