Feet - Fluid and springy footwork that enables him to quickly evade tacklers, even in tight quarters. Makes dynamic cuts with his plant foot catching well outside his frame. Swift lateral jump cuts. Runs square and knows how to align his frame to most effectively attack creases.
Vision - Attacks interior gaps effectively, allowing his blocks to take form with excellent vision/feel in the hole. Has some issues attacking off-tackle and knowing when to get north-south. Will string runs out too far and miss opportunities to work up the field. Sees the field cleanly in space and strings together moves with outstanding spatial awareness.
Pass Protection - Needs technical development but he isn’t passive. Willing to step up and absorb contact and chip on the edges. Does well to help where it’s most needed. Too many reps where he throws a shoulder and needs to fit his hands and leverage his hips to better control at the point of attack.
Receiving - Natural, soft hands that rarely fail him. Ran a fairly expansive route tree but he’s most effective in the flats and with check downs. Occasionally worked from the slot but it's clear that he needs technical development running routes in that regard. Has the burst and creativity to be effective in the screen game in the NFL.
Balance - Runs with square pads and overall excellent control of his frame. Love his ability to string together cuts and remain balanced. Absorbs contact well and it takes and honest effort to bring him down in space. Runs behind his pads with a firm, wide base.
Elusiveness - Excellent wiggle, twitch and agility relative to his frame. Creative in space with the ability to execute jukes that make tacklers whiff. Loose hips and fluid with his cuts. Excellent stop-start ability.
Power - Runs behind his pads with good leverage. Explodes into contact and always falls forward. Feet keep moving through contact and he’s capable of moving piles. Blends patience with power to be an effective short yardage option.
Competitive Toughness - His blend of size, power and elusive traits make him difficult to tackle and he doesn’t go down without a fight. Competes in pass pro with a willingness to deliver blows to rushers. Grinds out tough yards through contact and maximizes his touches. Can be too loose with the football and cough it up. Must be a more consistent ball handler.
Versatility - A multifaceted back that can win between the tackles, on the edges, in space, as a receiver and in pass protection. Has experience with return duties. Doesn’t have any notable deficiencies that would limit his role in the NFL. Every down back.
BEST TRAIT - Feet, Versatility
WORST TRAIT - Fumbles
A highly-regarded recruit from Pennsylvania, Sanders waited his turn behind Saquon Barkley and delivered an outstanding junior season. Sanders is one of the few true multifaceted running backs in this years class which drives up his value. His blend of size, power, elusiveness and receiving ability give him the upside to have a lead role at the next level. While I have minor gripes about his tendency to string out runs too far on wide zone runs, the primary issue with Sanders is being too loose with the football and fumbling. If that can go away, Sanders should find an early role and command touches.
Round Grade - Second Round Value