Ace Sanders Scouting Report

February 6th, 2013
Ace Sanders

(Photo: US Presswire)

Prospect: Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 175
Grade: 6.7 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

Athleticism:
+Extremely quick and agile with the ability to make several tacklers miss on any given play.
+Shifty runner but also has surprising top-end speed despite the fact he’s only 5’8″.
-Doesn’t have much more room to fill out his small frame with muscle.

Route Running:
+Quick out of his cuts and can beat his man off the line.
+Successful in the screen game both as a receiver and a blocker.
+Gets many of his yards after the catch; averaged 11.8 yards per catch in 2012.
-Doesn’t show the ability to re-route during a play; needs more experience as a receiver.
-Experiences trouble with footing and balance while making cuts; often slips out of his breaks

Hands:
+Doesn’t have an inherent problem with dropping passes
+Exceptional catching ability on comeback and curl routes.
-Makes an occasional drop, mainly on throws downfield and in traffic.
-Not a physical receiver that will go up high to get the ball over a defender.

Running/Return Ability:
+One of the top return men in college last season.
+An inherent threat to return any punt for a touchdown.
+Quick, shifty runner that can consistently make multiple tacklers miss.
+Dangerous runner in the open field but mainly excels in traffic.
-Wasn’t utilized as a runner in South Carolina’s offense, but has the agility and speed to possibly do so in the NFL.

Overview

Ace Sanders is one of the most dynamic players in this year’s draft. Versatility leads to playing time in the NFL, and that will certainly be the case for Sanders as a rookie. The explosive 5’8″ receiver/return man figures to contribute mainly as a slot receiver while on offense.

On special teams, Sanders is most dangerous as a punt returner. In 2012, Sanders returned 29 punts for 429 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn’t utilized much as a kick returner, however, in college, returning just two kickoffs during his career.

Sanders figures to be one of the next true “offensive weapons” in the NFL. He isn’t as talented as Percy Harvin, but could be used in the same way. As a slot receiver, explosive return man, and possible threat as a runner, Sanders draft value is quite high. He won’t blow up the scouting combine with gaudy numbers as he is more of a shifty runner as opposed to having top-tier speed. However, it’s unlikely he falls out of the third round in April’s draft.

With the ability to contribute to an NFL team in several different ways, Sanders is perfectly capable of contributing in many ways as a rookie.

Tags: Ace Sanders, NFL Draft, south carolina

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