Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Mohamed Sanu vastly underrated
By Andrea Adelson
So his 40 time is slow.
I say: So what?
So he is not explosive.
I say: So what?
Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu will be a productive player in the NFL for years to come, regardless of what his measurables say about him. There are many talent evaluators who put way too much stock in 40 times and other assorted numbers, and not enough on actual game tape. I am obviously not an NFL scout, but I know what I saw out of Sanu in 2011.
To me, the tape speaks to what type of player you are going to get. Turn on the tape of Sanu last season, and you know exactly what you are in for -- a dependable receiver unafraid to go over the middle, to block, to put an entire team on his shoulders and carry them for an entire season. Sanu does not feel pressure. He thrives in big situations.
Consider that 69 of his Big East-record 115 receptions went for first downs. Twenty-seven of those receptions went for 15 yards or more. He had more catches in the second half or overtime of games than he did in the first half. He simply got better as the game went on. Drops? About as rare as catching a glimpse of Halley's Comet.
Not only that. Rutgers began to tailor its offensive game plan around Sanu once it became obvious he was pretty unstoppable early on last season. Opponents knew where the ball was headed. And yet he still had double-digit receptions in six games and 100 yards or more in seven.
In all, Sanu had 1,206 yards on the season, putting him in third place on the school single-season record list. None of that happened by luck or accident.
Recent mock drafts from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay on ESPN do not have Sanu listed as going in the first three rounds. Other mock drafts have him going in the second or third round. I respect the work Kiper and McShay do, being the foremost draft experts in the business. But I respectfully disagree with their assessment of Sanu.
A 4.58 time in the 40 makes him the slowest of the top receivers available in the draft. I understand teams want receivers who are blazing fast, can break open big plays and be electrifying. Whatever Sanu lacks in speed, he makes up for everywhere else. He works hard, never complains and makes catches when they count.
I would be shocked if he slips past the third round. No matter where he lands, I can all but guarantee Sanu will make his new team exceedingly happy.