Should you fold your Ace (Sanders)?

Ace Sanders pulled the ol’ switcheroo, deciding to declare for the NFL draft after it was originally reported that he would return for his senior season.  Let’s take him into The Lab and examine his NFL prospects.

Can’t read his poker face

In 37 career games at South Carolina, Sanders only went over 60 yards receiving on six occasions.

2010:  twice in 13 games

2011: once in 12 games

2012: three times in 12 games

Hardly inspiring…

In 2012, his average stat line was 3.7 catches, 44 yards, and .75 touchdowns.  Now, before you come at me with “South Carolina isn’t a passing team,” consider that Sanders productivity grade was only a 51, which accounts for strength of passing game.  Normally, you want to see numbers of a least 60+ with elite prospects scoring in the 80+ range.

The other knock I have on Sanders is his 5’8”  175 lb frame.  Not many guys that small are making it happen in the NFL on a consistent basis.

In his last two games of the season, Sanders posted the two best games of his career:

  • @Clemson: 6 receptions, 119 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Michigan (bowl game): 9 receptions, 92 yards, 2 touchdowns

Given that Sanders ended 2012 with a bang, it’s not surprising to see him ‘sell high.’  The only problem is that I’m not sure I would buy him as a wide receiver prospect.  He might be a useful return man, but otherwise his NFL value is limited.