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Friday, March 25, 2011
Soon to be stars: Emmanuel Sanders

By Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson looks at AFC North players on the verge of a breakout in 2011.

Sanders
Sanders
Emmanuel Sanders could be poised to go right past Hines Ward on Pittsburgh’s depth chart next season. Both Sanders and Ward project well to the slot, and both should see close to equal playing time next year, but the arrow is clearly pointing up for Sanders’ career and pointing down on the reliable and tough Ward.

Sanders isn’t the biggest wideout around, but he is extremely quick and an excellent space player. He is very good after the catch and isn’t bashful about attacking the ball in the air or going over the middle into the teeth of the defense.

As Sanders received playing time, he consistently showed up on tape. Much like Mike Wallace a year ago, Sanders could be primed for a big jump in production during his sophomore season. Sanders also doesn’t give up on a play and continues to work to get open, which is a good fit with Ben Roethlisberger -- a master at extending the play and torturing a defense late in the down.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.