NFL draft: Is Sanchez too risky for Kansas City?

A year ago, a former New England Patriots executive running his first draft for a new franchise selected a quarterback with the No. 3 pick.

Will history repeat itself in 2009?

Despite the fact that Thomas Dimitroff’s selection of Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons proved to be an unqualified success, don’t assume Scott Pioli will follow the same path with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Although the Chiefs need a long-term answer at quarterback — and USC’s Mark Sanchez should be available, assuming Georgia’s Matthew Stafford goes first to Detroit — drafting one with the third pick might not be the wisest course of action.

Or at least not the safest.

“When you’re sitting at three, the thing you can’t afford is to make a mistake,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said.

For all his talent, charisma and potential, Sanchez — with only 16 college starts on his résumé — remains a risky proposition.

Meanwhile, another prospect who could be available for the Chiefs and also fills a need — Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry — “might be the safest pick in the whole draft,” Mayock said.

“He’s scheme diverse, he’s intelligent — he’s probably the safest guy out there,” Mayock said.

For the Chiefs to take Sanchez in the top five will demand a leap of faith Pioli might not be willing to take. Dimitroff took one with Ryan, but Ryan was a fifth-year senior with more than one season of starting experience. Likewise the other standout rookie quarterback, Joe Flacco.

“I felt 100 percent secure in my evaluations last year,” Mayock said of Ryan and Flacco.

Will Mayock, or anyone, get to that point with Sanchez?

By leaving a year of eligibility on the table, Sanchez created a handicap for himself. He has until April 25 to overcome it.

More from the USC blog:

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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