Has nice hands and good size. Does a nice job in traffic due to his size. Can make the quick move upfield after the catch to pick up extra yards. Runs hard after the catch and is a load to bring down due to his size. Very effective on tight end screens.
Struggles as a blocker due to poor technique. Slow off the snap and often takes a false step in order to try and get position. Lacks lateral quickness and whiffs on many blocks and assignments. Comes out a bit high into his stance, which allows defenders to get under his pads. Will double catch some balls because he doesn't have the strongest hands. Lacks speed and burst to really stretch the defense and gets a poor release off the line.
Saunders is rated high because of his size and athletic potential. But he's not a very effective blocker despite his size mainly because of his poor technique and footwork. His lack of speed and burst also limits his effectiveness as a receiver because he'll have trouble separating. His size should help offset some of that because he'll be effective in traffic. But his biggest asset on the next level will likely come in the redzone.
What I Want to See in 2010:
The main thing is for him to get better as a blocker. If he can live up to his size potential as a blocker, then he stands a good chance of being a starter on the next level. But he'll have to refine his technique, and I'm not sure his head is really into blocking. His technique is really poor that I believe 240 pounders would be more effective than him at the next level. The main things he needs to do to improve is play with more pop and take better angles as a run blocker.
He's projected highly probably more due to potential than actually skill. Right now, I would say that his skill level is more comparable to that of a late round pick at tight end. But he could move up into the early rounds if he has a productive year and improves his blocking. But right now, at best I see him as a third or fourth round pick. With little improvement, I see no reason to draft him before the fifth round.
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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