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SPORTS
April 27, 2009 | SAM FARMER
It was an NFL draft of traders and Raiders. It was a weekend of easy street (first-round picks are projected to receive a guaranteed $400 million), Madison Avenue (has Mark Sanchez mentioned he loves New York?) and tackle Michael Oher, the road (grader) not taken. Actually, Oher was taken -- selected 23rd by the Baltimore Ravens -- but it was a lot later than he had hoped. Many people expected him to be a top-10 pick.
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SPORTS
April 26, 2009 | Sam Farmer
Seeing as Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree is headed for California as a new member of the San Francisco 49ers, he might one day get to meet Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "I was trying to see him while I was down there," said Crabtree, the 10th overall pick. "But I'll tell him, 'I'll be back.' " Seems the kid not only catches, but catches on. -- Super incentive So Crabtree is heading to the team where Jerry Rice rewrote all the record books. Quite a challenge.
SPORTS
April 26, 2009 | SAM FARMER
Memo to the half a dozen Jersey boys selected Saturday in the opening round of the NFL draft: Leave a light on for Mark Sanchez. The USC quarterback now will play his home games in East Rutherford, N.J. Whereas teams from all over the country snapped up six players born in the Garden State -- Eugene Monroe (Jacksonville), B.J.
SPORTS
April 21, 2009 | Sam Farmer
The draft will be held Saturday and Sunday in New York. The Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines the needs of each team by division: NFC East Philadelphia filled its need for a left tackle by trading for Jason Peters, a deal that cost the Eagles the 28th pick. They still have the 21st selection, and, although fans are clamoring for a big-time wide receiver, the need is greater at running back -- someone to lighten the load of Brian Westbrook.
SPORTS
April 21, 2009 | SAM FARMER
Even though USC quarterback Mark Sanchez probably won't be the first player selected Saturday in the NFL draft, he could have the biggest influence on the opening round. With so many teams in the market for a quarterback -- Jacksonville, San Francisco, Denver, Washington, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay among them -- Sanchez could inspire one of them to trade into the top five to pick him. It looks as if the Detroit Lions will select Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford with the No.
SPORTS
April 3, 2009 | Sam Farmer
The deal Thursday that sent quarterback Jay Cutler from Denver to Chicago for a Brinks truck full of draft picks wasn't just a tale of two cities. It will reverberate throughout the NFL. It's also good news for Georgia's Matt Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez and the fast-rising Josh Freeman of Kansas State, because it could trigger a run on quarterbacks at the top of the draft. Consider this: Had Cutler gone to Detroit instead of Chicago, that would have satisfied the Lions' need for a quarterback.
SPORTS
March 26, 2009 | Shannon Ryan
This season's NCAA tournament games have caused television ratings to skyrocket and made the blood flow, whether it runs Cardinals red or Carolina blue. Like last season, four teams seeded No. 1 are alive in this week's regionals, including Louisville and Pittsburgh, who shrugged off upset-minded underdogs to maintain order in the brackets yet entertain CBS audiences. What's missing is the NBA draft audition. As much debate took place last season about which player would be the No.
SPORTS
February 21, 2009 | SAM FARMER
NFL talent evaluators rely on study sessions and stopwatches, medical reports and miles of videotape. And sometimes, just plain gut feelings. They don't lean on rules of thumb, because as soon as one is cemented in place, an exception comes along to shatter it. Still, some patterns that have formed in recent years are hard to ignore.
SPORTS
February 17, 2009 | SAM FARMER
If a quarterback sends the wrong message to his receivers, it can cost him the football. If a quarterback sends the wrong message at this week's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, it can cost him $10 million or more. That's why USC's Mark Sanchez and his handlers are especially careful these days about the signals that he's sending. With the top of the draft still very murky, and Sanchez a legitimate candidate to go No.
SPORTS
January 16, 2009 | BILL PLASCHKE
With tears in his eyes, a USC student announced that after attending classes for four years and receiving his bachelor's degree, he was leaving campus to pursue his life's work. At which point, his beloved professor publicly scorned him for it. What's wrong with this picture? Nothing, apparently, if you are Pete Carroll. Everything, perhaps, if you are Mark Sanchez.
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