An underrated prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft is Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Sanu has been a playmaker and a producer since his freshman season. Entering the NFL Scouting Combine, Sanu was in contention to be a first-round pick. However, a disappointing Combine had Sanu planning to bounce back with a big Pro Day. Sanu worked out for NFL scouts March 20 at Rutgers. WalterFootball.com recently caught up with Sanu after catching passes from Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill at a workout.
"I definitely have some goals to achieve that I didn't achieve at the Combine. I know I will achieve them this time. I feel like I'm better prepared. I'm going to go and do what I have to do."
Sanu ran slower than expected with a 4.67 time in the 40-yard dash, but after getting better preparation at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., Sanu is confident that he will show his true speed at this pro day.
"I just came down here to get in some work. I came down here to get back into the full swing of things. I'm working out three times a day. My body is feeling good and getting ready for Wednesday."
Sanu has gone ahead and scheduled a few pre-draft visits. He shared the first two teams he's going to visit with us.
"Right now I have the Bengals and I think I have the Giants. I have a couple set up. We'll set up more after my Pro Day. It is exciting and a great process, and I'm just happy to be a part of it."
The Bengals have one of the best young wide outs in the NFL in A.J. Green. Cincinnati took him with the fourth-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but they have been said to be seeking a good complement for Green. Sanu could be a candidate to fill that role. New York lost veteran Mario Manningham to free agency, so they may want some depth and a third receiver to pair with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. A number of other teams will host Sanu before he finds a permanent home on draft weekend.
There are a number of receivers who are expected to go ahead of Sanu, even though the Rutgers product outproduced many of them in 2011. Prospects like Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendell Wright, Stephen Hill and Alshon Jeffery are generally expected to have their names called before Sanu will get selected. Sanu is confident that he is a comparable player to those potential Thursday night picks.
"I've seen all the other players and I'd put myself up there with them. My body of work speaks for itself. I can compete with any of those guys and we'll just have to see after this Pro Day when I put out the things I have to put out. We'll see some eyes open up."
Sanu recorded 115 catches for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. Only Blackmon had more receptions than Sanu last year. Blackmon and Wright were the only two receivers in the group above who had more receiving yards last season.
The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder is versatile as a receiver as well. Rutgers lined him up at a variety of spots as a wideout along with his time at running back. Sanu is a very good route-runner who is extremely sure-handed.
"I feel like I have a pretty diverse skill set as a receiver. There are always some things that you have to work on day in and day out. I'll continue to work on that and become the best receiver possible for whoever drafts me and whoever I get to play with."
Sanu has a near-prototype skill set as a receiver in a West Coast offense. He looks like he could play the X (split end) receiver position, which goes downfield more often, or the Z (flanker) receiver that works the short to intermediate part of the field. The later may be his best fit, but Sanu feels comfortable in both.
"It doesn't matter. As long as I'm on the field. I'll do what I can to make the team the best they can be. I played all three positions actually at Rutgers. I played X, Z and (the slot). Its not a big issue for me. I'm going to do what I have to do to be out there playing. "
One team that Sanu has his eyes on is Tampa Bay. Sanu's college coach, Greg Schiano, was hired to be the new head coach. After signing veteran Vincent Jackson, however, the Bucs may not be in the market for Sanu early on the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft.
"That definitely would be exciting. I had a great time playing for him and he's a great coach. He did well for that program and I'm looking forward to what he's going to do with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."