*Zack Sanchez

CB Oklahoma

5-11 1/4, 185, (PD) 4.48,

31.3" Arm, 19 Reps!

35.5" Vert, 9'8" Broad,

4.32 SS, 7.0 3-C!

Ball Skills.

By TOM

Sanchez is not the biggest or bestest CB prospect ever. But he makes plays on the ball. He makes plays on the ball at end of game, that win games. Maybe he's a Nickel. Maybe he's a Dime. But wherever you put him on the field, he is going to make play on the ball. He can go up and make the spectacular catch like a WR. Great instincts and timing going up and getting a hand or two on the ball. Very underrated against the run. But he will be drafted early, because he puts himself in better position to catch the ball than the WR.

When you look at all the top CBs in this Draft, none of them got their hands on the ball as much as this guy. "He is fast, and talented," a Director of Scouting said. " I'm always partial to guys who make plays on the ball so I like him. I don't think he's tough enough to tackle. So he is probably just a true nickel cornerback. Who you have to play outside so teams can't run it at him in the slot." He has 15 career INTs in three seasons, and 28 PBU. Those are big time number in this Draft.

So he decided to come out after four years at OK. "Aaron [Colvin] and Tony [Jefferson] are guys I talk to on a weekly basis," Sanchez said. "They've told me that I'm capable of playing in the league. That helped out a lot in my decision to take this step." But not everyone was happy to see him go. "You can’t replace his production with his natural instincts and feel for the game," the OK DBs coach Kerry Cooks said. "We're looking for a guy who is going to be disciplined and do his job every single snap." He has the best production in the Draft when the ball is in the air.

He plays a lot of Off, so he can read the QB. He does get over aggressive sometimes going for the ball. I love the way he moves on the field. He is so light and effortless on his feet moving forwards, backwards, and sidewards. Explosive in transition moving to the ball out of his pedal. He is a very small guy, but he is not a weakling against the run. He fights the bigger WRs with his hands and leverage. Terrific form tackler.

He is not a one year wonder and had a great season in 2014: 2014: Named All-Big 12 First Team by the league's coaches, AP, 247Sports, Athlon Sports and Phil Steele and All-Big 12 Second Team by ESPN.com ... semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award ... started all 13 games at cornerback ... broke up a pass and had four tackles with a stop for loss against Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl (12/29) ... intercepted a pass, broke up another pass and had four tackles against Oklahoma State (12/6) ... returned one punt for 14 yards against Kansas (11/22) ... broke up a pass and had two tackles at Texas Tech (11/15) ... made three tackles against Baylor (11/8) ... had two tackles at Iowa State (11/1) ... broke up two passes and had three tackles against Kansas State (10/18) ... earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after returning an interception for a touchdown and tying a career high with eight tackles against Texas (10/11) ... recorded five tackles at TCU (10/4) ... intercepted a pass and had a season-high six tackles at West Virginia (9/20) ... picked off a pass and recorded two tackles against Tennessee (9/13) ... made one tackle and recorded an interception at Tulsa (9/6) ... intercepted a pass, blocked a field goal and made three tackles against Louisiana Tech (8/30).

Then he stepped it up again in 2015. He became the leader of the OK secondary, and a terrific physical tackler:

2015 (Redshirt Junior): Semifinalist for the Thorpe Award ... named Second Team All-American by Sporting News, Walter Campb and USA Today ... selected as Third Team All-American by Phil Steele ... dubbed All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated ... picked for All-Big 12 First Team by league's coaches, AP and Phil Steele ... placed on All-Big 12 Second Team by ESPN.com ... played in and started 11 games at cornerback (did not play against Iowa State or Kansas due to injury) ... intercepted a pass and made one tackle in the Orange Bowl against Clemson (12/31) ... broke up two passes and had six tackles at Oklahoma State (11/28) ... intercepted two passes, broke up another and had four tackles with one for loss against TCU (11/21) ... recorded an interception and finished with six tackles at Baylor (11/14) ... broke up one pass but was injured on game's opening play and did not return against Texas Tech (10/24) ... intercepted two passes, including a pick-six for 38 yards, and had one tackle at Kansas State (10/17) ... registered five tackles with 1.0 TFL against Texas (10/10) ... tied a career high with eight tackles, assisted on a sack and broke up a pass against West Virginia (10/3) ... tallied five tackles against Tulsa (9/19) ... recorded the game-winning interception in double overtime to go with six tackles, including 1.0 for loss, at Tennessee (9/12) ... broke up one pass while assisting on three tackles against Akron (9/5)

He plays with some nastiness sometimes. He has that little chip on his shoulder. It's amazing how he always seems to keep one eye in the backfield. He works hard in the weight room and it shows on the field. He does a good job setting the edge and forcing the RB and QB to turn up inside quicker than they want. He fakes man coverage a lot, and then stops and eyes the QB in a zone. Oklahoma does a lot of complicated zones meant to fool QBs. 

Additional Notes:

TCU: When he gets his hands on the ball he holds on. He can read the route, and jump the pattern. He can beat the WR to the ball and hold on. He is so good at tracking the ball in the air. On his second INT against TCU, he adjusted to the badly thrown ball better than the WR. The ball was thrown further outside, and he turned back and snagged the ball fading to the outside and caught the ball over his shoulder like a WR. He has such great ball instincts. You cannot teach what this kid has got. He plays with some chippiness. He was poking and prodding WRs all game.

Baylor: Nice little corner. Does a good job eyeing the QB and still seeing the WR. Nice side technique going down field. He is a playmaker. He has great instincts when the ball is in the air. He has nice size. He reminds on Kyle Arrington with better ball skills. He always seems to get himself into position to see the QB and the WR, and can react to the ball before the WR can. 

Combine: He has great ball skills. He has some snap in his hips. Elite feet moving all over the field. "Sanchez is described as being very fluid and having very good ball skills," Gil Brandt said. " He also caught punts at the pro day and did a good job." He snagged a one handed catch at Combine. He can really track the ball, leap up and high point it. Great burst moving forward to the ball. His quickness stood out in drills at the Combine. Great swivel hips. Not a hint of tightness. Great quick feet.

Zack Sanchez Vs Tennessee:

You see him lined up here like a predator. He lines up at a 3/4 angle staring at the QB, but he can still see the WR (:43). As you can see on the last three plays, he is small, but he is not a weakling in run defense (1:18). Watch the arm extension and strong Jam on the big WR (1:30). Watch the feet as he pedals backwards and changes direction three times. He has elite feet. Then watch him toss the WR aside with his hands (1:50). He actually is a very good blitzer from the edge as well (2:47). Very hyper zoning the flat (3:37). They will have him play too far Off sometimes as well (4:04). It looked like he was zoning over the top.

See how he runs sideways facing the WR. He is so light on his feet (4:17). Blitzing from the edge, and he makes the great form tackle on the big RB (4:28). See how he covers that WR facing the QB. You can see the QB desperately wants to go to his man, but Sanchez is in better position to make the catch than the WR (4:59). He takes the third guy out of the trips, and watch the great physical tackle (5:11). This is why I made this stupid little Tape. He not only makes plays on the ball in the air, he makes plays on the ball at end of games, that win games (5:46). That's game over. That was a game winning INT in double overtime (5:59). He gets his hands on the WR where he knows he is going to make his break, with his eyes on the QB. The QB throws the ball, and he burst in front of the WR to put himself in better position to catch the ball than the WR (6:26). Then the hands flash up and he catches the ball so naturally.

Sanchez Vs Tenn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFWIaMOPbrQ

 

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Zack Sanchez Vs TCU:

You can see him giving signals as he was the leader of the secondary last season. Here he is in Off protecting the deep pass. He gives up the short pass, but protects the deep sideline (1:05). Watch his feet moving backwards. He has such great feet (1:38). He is small, but he is great at finding the ball carrier in traffic (1:47). See how he gallops sideways down field and keeps the WR between him and the QB so he can can keep one eye in the backfield (2:21). He turns that comeback into a two yard gain.

Watch him get physical with the WR with a chuck that bends him backwards, but he always keeps one eye in the backfield (2:37). He is one of the smartest CBs I have ever seen. He seems to understand what the WR needs to do more than the WR sometimes. He reads something in the backfield, and shifts to inside leverage (3:21). He doesn't retreat at all. He stands there like he knows what's coming. The QB throws the ball, and watch the burst forward to get in front of the WR, so he has better position to catch the ball (3:36). His teammate tips the ball away from him a little, and he still catches it.

He can get a little over aggressive sometimes. He jumps forward on the hitch and the QB's pump fake. But he did know he had help over the top. With three guys there it looked like a zone to fool the QB (4:06). Okay, I wanted to see if this INT was as spectacular as I remembered, and it was (4:37). He just has the odd natural knack for getting into position to catch the ball better than the WR. You can see him turn back, and twist around, and then leap backwards for the ball. Meanwhile, the WR is still running down field behind him. Sanchez plays it better than any other CB in this Draft with one eye in the backfield. He consistently sees the ball coming before the WR. That is a great trait that you can't teach.

Sanchez Vs TCU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3qBvQlPBkk

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Sanchez's Official Bio:

2015: Semifinalist for the Thorpe Award ... named Second Team All-American by Sporting News, Walter Campb and USA Today ... selected as Third Team All-American by Phil Steele ... dubbed All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated ... picked for All-Big 12 First Team by league's coaches, AP and Phil Steele ... placed on All-Big 12 Second Team by ESPN.com ... played in and started 11 games at cornerback (did not play against Iowa State or Kansas due to injury) ... intercepted a pass and made one tackle in the Orange Bowl against Clemson (12/31) ... broke up two passes and had six tackles at Oklahoma State (11/28) ... intercepted two passes, broke up another and had four tackles with one for loss against TCU (11/21) ... recorded an interception and finished with six tackles at Baylor (11/14) ... broke up one pass but was injured on game's opening play and did not return against Texas Tech (10/24) ... intercepted two passes, including a pick-six for 38 yards, and had one tackle at Kansas State (10/17) ... registered five tackles with 1.0 TFL against Texas (10/10) ... tied a career high with eight tackles, assisted on a sack and broke up a pass against West Virginia (10/3) ... tallied five tackles against Tulsa (9/19) ... recorded the game-winning interception in double overtime to go with six tackles, including 1.0 for loss, at Tennessee (9/12) ... broke up one pass while assisting on three tackles against Akron (9/5)

2014: Named All-Big 12 First Team by the league's coaches, AP, 247Sports, Athlon Sports and Phil Steele and All-Big 12 Second Team by ESPN.com ... semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award ... started all 13 games at cornerback ... broke up a pass and had four tackles with a stop for loss against Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl (12/29) ... intercepted a pass, broke up another pass and had four tackles against Oklahoma State (12/6) ... returned one punt for 14 yards against Kansas (11/22) ... broke up a pass and had two tackles at Texas Tech (11/15) ... made three tackles against Baylor (11/8) ... had two tackles at Iowa State (11/1) ... broke up two passes and had three tackles against Kansas State (10/18) ... earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after returning an interception for a touchdown and tying a career high with eight tackles against Texas (10/11) ... recorded five tackles at TCU (10/4) ... intercepted a pass and had a season-high six tackles at West Virginia (9/20) ... picked off a pass and recorded two tackles against Tennessee (9/13) ... made one tackle and recorded an interception at Tulsa (9/6) ... intercepted a pass, blocked a field goal and made three tackles against Louisiana Tech (8/30)

2013: Named Freshman All-American by FWAA ... started all 13 games at CB ... returned an interception 43 yards, broke up a pass and made three tackles in the Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama (1/2) ... broke up a pass and recorded five tackles at Oklahoma State (12/7) ... returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown and made four tackles at Kansas State (11/23) ... broke up a pass and made three tackles against Iowa State (11/16) ... career-high eight tackles against Texas Tech (10/26) ... broke up a pass and had two tackles at Kansas (10/19) ... made two tackles vs. Texas (10/12) ... broke up a career-high four passes and had two tackles against TCU (10/5) ... broke up three passes and had two tackles at Notre Dame (9/28) ... matched career high with six tackles and had 0.5 TFL with one pass breakup against Tulsa (9/14) ... registered six tackles against West Virginia (9/7) ... in Sooners debut, started and made three tackles with one pass breakup against ULM (8/31)

2012: Redshirted.

Season GP-GS UT AT Total TFL Sacks INT FF FR PBU
2013 13-13 33 13 46 0.5-1 0.0-0 2-117 0 0 13
2014 13-13 31 12 43 1.0-1 0.0-0 6-43 0 0

8

2015 11-11 36 9 45 3.5-7 0.5-4 7-60 0 0 7
Career 37-37 100 34 134 5.0-9 0.5-4 15-220 0 0 28

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