Pros: Is active in run support and does a nice job sniffing out screens. Has good closing burst, speed, and is a capable tackler. Will throw his weight around and has nice pop.
Cons: Undersized and needs to do a better job wrapping. Doesn't give you much in coverage because he lacks ideal hips and ball skills. Has trouble matching up with tight ends. Will bite on play fakes.
Overview: Stanford is a solid run-stopping safety that plays bigger than he is. Began his career at corner at Ole Miss before being moved to linebacker and then to strong safety. Did start four games at linebacker as a sophomore. Cousins with Peria Jerry and about a billion others that played at Ole Miss.
NFL Forecast: I think he'll probably have to impact early on special teams in order to stick, but with time and development he could become a competent starting strong safety down the road. He'll never be great in coverage, but I think he can improve enough that I think he could be competent there. He's a bit of undersized, so again his upside isn't super high, but he's a good run stopper that needs to be more consistent as a wrap tackler more than anything else. But more than likely, Sanford will be a solid backup strong safety that can impact on special teams.
ATL Forecast: Sanford could be a nice backup strong safety for the Falcons, but isn't a problem solver at the position. He's not really a threat to be a suitable replacement for Milloy either now or down the line. But for whoever lands that job, he can be a suitable backup. But his most likely impact in Atlanta will be on special teams.
Value: Sanford is worth a late round pick. At the earliest, I might take him in the latter part of Round Six.
Scouting Reports of safeties in the 2009 NFL Draft
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