Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Scouting reports of the wide receivers in the 2012 Draft.
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Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Postby Pudge » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:04 pm

Rutgers Junior
40: 4.55


Has good size and large hands. Able to go up and make the one-handed highlight reel grab. Has good body control and athleticism. Can adjust to the high throw or the pass behind him. Does a nice job on the shorter routes and works well out of the slot. Flashes some speed to run by corners when he's allowed to go deep downfield. Has decent burst after the catch, able to pick up some yardage. Will deliver a stiff arm after the catch. Has decent speed and burst to separate on the quick underneath routes such as the slant. Flashes some shiftiness to avoid defenders with the ball in his hands. Experienced wildcat player that can also work on special teams as a punt returner.


Lacks ideal speed and burst to be a true dynamic threat. Can struggle at times to get a good release off the line and accelerate into his route. Needs polish as a route-runner that doesn't have great burst to separate from NFL-caliber corners. Limited as a punt returner because of that lack of acceleration, unable to consistently make first defender miss and get yards. Isn't great after the catch for similar reasons, since his speed won't allow him to run away from most defenders. Can't always locate the ball well in the air on the fade pattern. Will drop some passes in traffic when a defender can deliver the hit. May not have great ball security with the ball in his hands. Only gives perfunctory effort as a blocker downfield.


Sanu flashes talent, athleticism and upside to be a No. 1 possession wideout at the next level. He has the physical tools, just lacks the polish as a route runner, and speed as a playmaker to really instill fear into defenses. But he's a solid slot receiver that came to Rutgers as an athletic quarterback and safety that moved into the starting lineup immediately as a receiver his true freshman year because of his athletic potential. He's a player that can definitely contribute as a complementary receiver at the next level, but may take some time to develop as a potential starter.


(9/10) vs. North Carolina: 19 targets, 13 rec., 120 yds (9.2 avg), 34 YAC (2.6 avg), 1 TDs, 2 drops
(10/8) vs. Pittsburgh: 2 tgt., 2 rec., 27 yds (13.5 avg), 8 YAC (4.0 avg), 0 TDs
(12/30) vs. Iowa St: 8 tgt., 6 rec., 62 yds (10.3 avg), 23 YAC (3.8 avg), 0 TDs; 1 fumble


2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 115 catches, 1206 yds, 10.5 avg, 7 TDs; 4 rush att., -2 yds, -0.5 avg, 0 TDs; 12 PR-4.6 avg, 0 TDs; 1 for 2 passing, 9 yds, 0 TDs
2010: 12/11-44-418-9.5-2; 59-309-5.2-4; 6 of 9 passing, 160 yds, 3 TDs
2009: 13/13-51-639-12.5-3; 62-346-5.6-5; 17 PR-3.9 avg, 0 TDs; 1 for 7 passing, 38 yds, 1 TD

- missed spring game in 2010 with a head injury, and plagued by ankle injury throughout 2010


Sanu has upside and if he develops, he can become a Roddy White/Dwayne Bowe-esque No. 1 receiver down the line. His size, frame, and athleticism can make him a tough matchup for smaller corners. The key will be his ability to improve as a route-runner. He can't separate from top-caliber NFL corners on his burst alone, and really needs to develop as a route-runner. His limited experience at wide receiver means that potentially his best football is ahead of him. The ideal role for him to come into in the pros is playing as the third option for a team in the slot. That's where he predominantly played at Rutgers, at least as a senior, and he's at his best working the shorter routes since he lacks the ideal speed to really challenge downfield to a significant degree. There, he can be more of an impact player early on because he'll usually be facing a team's weakest corner. Then, he can start to develop more as an outside receiver with more experience and potentially become a solid inside/outside threat. He's never really going to be a guy that scares defenses, but can be a guy that helps move the chains. And in a scheme where there are other vertical threats around him, he can be a high-yield possession wideout for some team. But that potential won't happen until a few years down the line. Thus why, it's probably best for him to come to a situation where he can be brought along more slowly. I think at worst, you're going to get a player similar to Patrick Crayton during his prime in Dallas, where he is ideally a third option but can be a functional second option playing opposite a top-end No. 1 target. At best, you probably get a player comparable to Marques Colston, minus a bit of the size. As a special teams player, he was only marginally productive there. So I don't think any team should see him as anything more than an emergency player. The other thing you like about Sanu is that he can also get reps in the wildcat and be effective there because of his past as a quarterback. He's not going to be great there, but for a creative offensive coordinator, he can potentially bring some of that versatility to the offense to keep defenses on their toes. I wouldn't put money on him being a No. 1, but I think as a second or third option he could be potentially great.


Sanu would be a nice addition to have in the slot in Atlanta. He would get the opportunity to get brought along slowly here because of the team already having Douglas there. But because of his size, athleticism, Sanu offers a bit greater potential as a vertical receiver in the slot than Douglas despite being a step or two slower. He can add immediately value as a No. 4 receiver in Atlanta, especially if he's comfortable working on special teams coverage. Down the road, he can start to push Douglas for the No. 3 job, and if he can improve as a route-runner give them a nice inside/outside presence. He has the upside to be a better backup than Douglas because of his potential to fill in on the outside in the even of an injury to Jones or White, and because of his athletic potential he can make some plays there. Potentially down the line, having Sanu as the third option, and Douglas in his more natural fourth option, the Falcons can be more of a pass-first team that can confidently spread out teams and have multiple threats all over the field. His ability to contribute in the wildcat can also be effective from time to time. If he develops, Sanu has the potential to replace White as the No. 2 option by the time his rookie contract is up. But in the meantime, he could provide an upgrade to the No. 3 position.


Sanu has upside and as a pick in the latter half of the second round, he would offer good value. The fact that he may not develop into a reliable starter though probably means that he would be a bit of a reach in taken in the Top 40 picks. But for a team that already has weapons and is looking for a developmental and complementary weapon, he would be a good pick.

1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite

Speed: 5.5
Hands: 7.0
After Catch: 5.5
Body Control: 7.5
Range: 6.5
Blocking: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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