West Virginia Senior
Smooth runner with good speed and acceleration. Can be a dangerous player after the catch. Has a very quick first step after the catch and is elusive and shifty in the open field. Has good lateral quickness, burst, and change of direction skills. Has nice hands and shows ability to track the deep ball on the corner route or stretch for the ball on the sideline. Shows some toughness for a player his size and gives effort as a blocker in space. A capable return threat.
Undersized and it shows when he's trying to make grabs in traffic. Body catches a lot and needs to play with better concentration. Doesn't do a good job securing the ball against his body after the catch and has a tendency to fumble because a good hit can jar it loose. Doesn't run a great variety of routes at WVU. Needs to polish up his route-running. Tends to dance a bit too much after the catch.
Sanders is undersized, but explosive player. He was second only to Noel Devine the past few years at West Virginia's most potent offensive weapon. He does a good job when he can get out in space, and is dangerous on screens, reverses, and drag routes that can utilized his speed and explosive first step. But he doesn't really run that large a variety of routes and rarely is an option downfield. Didn't return a ton of kicks (21 kickoffs, 32 punts), but flashed potential there when he did because of his speed and quickness. Average 23.2 yards on kickoffs and 9.7 yards on punts over his career.
If Sanders can stick as a return threat, he can have a nice NFL career. Offensviely, he's limited. And while he can show you some things on screens and reverses, no team is going to really design their offense around him like West Virginia did. His limited potential to run routes down the field limit his upside as a slot receiver. He's just a guy that if he's not running a route in the 5-10 yard range, he offers very little.
Sanders has greater potential as a return threat because he's more explosive than Weems, but because of his relatively limited experience there at West Virginia, he's unlikely to come in and unseat him there. And unless he can also be a factor on special teams coverage, Sanders is probably just a practice squad guy, that if he can develop as a return threat after a year or two, then he has a chance to stick in Atlanta. Otherwise, he's not going to do much.
He could get looks late in the seventh round because of his return potential, but he's probably better value as an undrafted free agent since he's not a sure bet to land that role as a rookie.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 4.0
Body Control: 2.5
Scouting reports of the wide receivers in the 2011 Draft.
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