Zack Sanchez, CB
School: Oklahoma | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 185 lbs
Projected: 2nd or 3rd Round | Actual: 5th Round (Pick 141) by the Carolina Panthers
Zack Sanchez hails from Ft. Worth, Texas and played both cornerback and wide receiver in high school. His background as a receiver has translated well in college. Sanchez is among the best in this draft class when it comes to ball skills having picked off and defended a very respectable number of passes while at Oklahoma. What may be most impressive about Sanchez is the skills that he uses to disrupt the catch or make an interception. Sanchez is a competitor and has a great ability (like a wide receiver) to remain patient and poised while the ball is in the air and contort and adjust his body to get into position to defend the pass. He's also a tough and aggressive player willing to fly downfield in run support and make a tackle.
A major knock on Sanchez will be his size. At sub 6 feet he is considered a shorter prospect to teams looking to add size to their CB core. Additionally while I have Sanchez listed at 185 it's likely he gained that weight with the purpose of trying to show scouts he could add size. I'm certain he played during the season as low as 175 lbs. Sanchez's aggressiveness served him well at times but like all ballhawk type players he can he burned badly by falling for more complex routes especially if the receiver he's defending sells it well. Because of his size and frame Sanchez is a prime candidate to be moved into the Nickel role for a team.
Camp complete ✅ jus tryna make the squad mane ... pic.twitter.com/8m9XdhOnZU— Zack Sanchez (@ZSanchez15) August 17, 2016
Panthers rookie CB Zack Sanchez on learning nickel spot and being part of "3 Amigos" rookie CB trio https://t.co/xX9tZCN0fi— Eric Boynton (@ericjboynton) August 11, 2016
www dot CharlotteFor dot me Getting to know ... Panthers CB Zack Sanchez - Charlotte Observer (blog) https://t.co/GorqXLovCf— CharlotteForDotMe (@CharlotteForMe) August 9, 2016
How He Makes the Panthers Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
The Panthers are in a unique situation this season. After letting Josh Norman go after a career year the Panthers drafted three cornerbacks in this past draft. They potentially will start 3 rookies at the cornerback position. Lengthy corners James Bradberry and Daryl Worley will defend the boundaries while Zack Sanchez is in competition to be the starter at the nickel position. Sanchez has had an up and down camp but the Panthers coaches are high on him. I think they should be. Sanchez had great production his sophomore and junior seasons at Oklahoma. So much so I thought he would be taken way earlier than in the fifth round.
It turns out size does mean a lot at the cornerback position and at 5’ 11’’ and 185 pounds Sanchez is limited to the slot position in today’s NFL. Sanchez has a lot of skills to like he can stick with receivers as he has good speed and he can definitely locate the ball in the air and attack. Sanchez is in competition for the starting Nickel spot with Ben Benwikere, if he loses he’ll may be the Dime CB. The Redskins should take every opportunity to attack a trio of rookie corners. Kirk Cousins will have to remain vigilant and accurate. Jamison Crowder should win this matchup.