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Scouting The Draft: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU

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Continuing our look at the back end of the draft, we stick with the WR position for now. I just get a feeling that we are going to go defense heavy to start with. So trying to find good valuable talent at the back end of the draft on offense is essential.

Emmanuel Sanders has some of that talent, and he has some of the skills that I imagine we will be looking at when all is said and done. Sanders really had been flying under the radar at SMU until his break-out 2009 season, and SMU's success in general, which lead to a convincing victory in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

As far as his personal character, there is just one blemish, that being he was suspended for the final two games of the 2008 season for committing 3 minor football/academic violations. However he came back in 2009 a lot more focused and became one of the team leaders. Include his excellent pro day performance, and he could be a draft day riser. As it stands he is likely a 5th round prospect.

Career Stats

2005- RS

2006- 46 rec, 605 yards, 13.2 avg, 9 TD's. 56 long

2007- 74 rec, 889 yards, 12.0 avg, 9 TD's, 54 long

2008- 67 rec, 958 yards, 14.3 avg, 9 TD's, 77 long

2009- 98 rec, 1339 yards, 13.7 avg, 7 TD's, 75 long

Height 5-11
Weight 180 lbs.
Class Senior

What does Emmanuel Sanders do Well?

The first thing you notice about Sanders is his speed, he has blistering 4.4 flat pace. The next thing is his elusiveness after the catch. Has a good release off the line and generally good hands, that can adapt to poorly thrown balls. Can track the ball, and nice a decent vertical. At his best planting to come on inside routes, or taking a vertical route because of his speed. When he has the ball in his hands, he can be very elusive, very sharp turns, keeps his hips low. Will throw his body into a block down-field. A very good punt returner, who will nearly always make the first man miss. Works well over the middle, especially when he gets behind the linebackers, and in front of the safeties. Has good recognition of where he needs to be to have the best chance to make the catch. Hard worker with a chiseled frame.

What Does Emmanuel Sanders Need To Improve On

His concentration needs to improve, sometimes takes his eye off the ball when he sees it as an easy catch, looking what to do next instead of watching it into his hands. Needs to work on his blocking, his slight frame makes it hard, but he sometimes jumps at receivers, and has a hard trouble sustaining any kind of blocks on the outside. Doesn't have the best flexibility down field, can be known as a little bit of a dancer, and instead of picking up he yards, he dances trying to get that big home run, that sometimes leads to a loss of yardage.

Final Word

Sanders is a nice looking prospect, potentially could play in the slot , or line him up out wide. At first I just thought he was a David Clowney clone, a player that can run fast in a straight line, but do little else. However his routes are a lot better than I thought, he has some moves after the catch, and he is dangerous in the return game. I wouldn't be disappointed if we didn't get him, but I wouldn't mind us taking a look if we reach the 5th, and still don't have a wide receiver in the bag. Will need some work, needs to toughen up a little bit, but there is plenty of talent to work with, and he has a lot more than just pure speed.