Has a decent first step and is able to get upfield and press the pocket. Willing to give chase and shows some ability to make plays laterally down the line in pursuit. Decent athlete that shows some ability to move in space.
Inconsistent motor. Doesn't consistently show the first step and ability to be disruptive. Might be limited as a short-area player. Doesn't consistently get position and leverage against the run.
Sanders is a bit of a tweener. He has the size you're looking for in a two-gap nose tackle, but his playing style is more of that of a one-gap disruptor. But he can't consistently show that disruptive ability there. He's not a playmaker and was a nice rotational player for the Gators in the middle. He started 28 games the past three seasons, combining for 58 tackles, 8 for loss, and 1 sack. He's dealt with his share of injuries and nicks, missing this past year's bowl game with a torn labrum. Missed the previous year's bowl because of an ACL tear he suffered after a scooter accident. Had a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for 5 games as a freshman, and has missed the past two season openers with sprained knee and rib injuries.
With Sanders, you're going to have to worry about his durability going forward because of how big he is. All those lower leg injuries are concerning. If he can stay healthy, then I think he has a chance to compete as a rotational player at the next level. With his size and athleticism, he has a shot. Not a great shot, but a decent one. I think he can potentially play in both a one and two-gap scheme. But at his current weight, he's better suited to trying his hand in the latter at nose tackle. If developed, he can make a decent backup. But he doesn't stand out from most other players. If he was to play in a 4-3 scheme, he probably would need to drop 10+ pounds. But even then, he's only really a No. 4 guy in rotation that can help stuff the run. And he's disruptive enough that he won't be completely lost on passing downs, but he's never going to be a guy that gets reliable or consistent pressure on the quarterback. He's more of a short-area run stuffer, which is why he's probably a better fit in a 3-4. I think he's a guy capable of making an NFL roster, but I think long-term he's going to have trouble sticking because guys with more upside are going to come along and push him off the roster.
Sanders can compete in Atlanta, and potentially if developed offers many of the same things as a Vance Walker in the Falcons rotation. But he's got to slim down in order for him to be a real challenger, and stay healthy. He's good enough to make the Falcons practice squad, but because his upside as a disruptive presence in the middle is very limited, it's highly doubtful he would do so.
Sanders isn't worth a draft pick, but a team would be smart to bring him to camp and see what he can do in a competition.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point Of Attack: 3.0
Pass Rush: 2.0
Scouting reports of the defensive tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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