A lot of discussion has generated recently over "who will be the next Johnny Knox?", and "who will replace Devin Hester if he does retire, or ask to be traded/released?" A few of the obvious answers have popped up like Tavon Austin, or various other free agent WR #4s. I want to propose the question though that what if Austin blows it up at the combine and goes top 15? What if there aren't any explosive FAs available?
Ace Sanders has been a somewhat hot topic here for the passed few months. The co-SEC ST player of the year and 2nd team all SEC player definitely is an odd subject. A "Curious Case" if you will.
Sanders is small. Very small. I wouldn't even compare him to a mighty mouse type of player due to his inherent lack of strength. At 5'7 (okay I'll give him 5'8 MAYBE in cleats) and 175 pounds, Ace Sanders is the smallest receiver to come out in years, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in utter explosiveness. The dude has that burner instinct that we haven't seen since a young Devin Hester burst onto the scene. One thing that sets Sanders apart is his lateral ability. His ability to move side to side while still maintaining full speed.
But it doesn't just stop at Sanders's special teams ability. He consistently beat defenders on deep balls, as well as took short middle passes the distance. He quite possibly could be the best route runner in the draft due to his loose hips and sharp cutting ability. He ran a lot of comeback routes as defenders would give him a ton of cushion of which he would simply plant his foot and turn around, leaving the CBs to search for their jocks in the grass.
Sanders makes catches with a natural hands ability. He doesn't lead the ball into his shoulder pads like you see a lot of guys doing. He extends the arms and attacks the ball in the air. His hands are good, however he's short. So, he's not going to have the big garage door sized window that Marshall has. Think more of a picture window.
Sanders is expected to run the 40 in the 4.35 - 4.4 range.
Check out this punt return against Mizzou, try to keep your panties dry.
So Ace Sanders is a blazer, he's got that wiggle, a natural hands catcher and plays with his heart on his sleeve. He's a blood n guts player who leaves it all on the field. Not only is he a great punt returner, but he could be a solid threat coming from the 4th or even 3rd WR position.