Nick Mensio with Rotoworld wrote a good piece on second-year receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, analyzing the film of both players and offering expectations for 2013 based on what he watched.
Here are a few notes we took from his breakdown.
Are the Bengals are giving away plays?
I’d venture to say that over 90 percent of Jones’ slot snaps came on run plays. Jones is a very willing blocker, and the Bengals often motioned him close to the ball to get him involved in the run game. It got to the point where any time Jones was in the slot, Gruden was clearly going to call a run.
Mensio charted that 68 of Jones' 364 snaps were in the slot. And we'd agree that Jones is the most likely to lower his head to help the team's running game. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones ranked fifth on the team in run blocking with a 0.5 score. No other receiver scored a positive grade.
Sanu is a star-receiver in the end-zone, but needs to polish his route-running.
Sanu is a non-factor in the deep passing game. He isn’t going to run many routes further than 7-10 yards downfield. That won't change, so I’m not going to suggest he'll get better in that area. He’s not an explosive athlete. I would like to see Sanu become tougher over the middle. I noticed a few times where he was pushed off of his route with ease. A.J. Green is a tremendous route runner, and hopefully Sanu will learn some things from him this summer. Sanu likes to roll in and out of his breaks.
Jones, on the other hand, needs to become more of a reliable catcher. Once that happens, he could have a significant impact.
(Jones) dropped a simple third-and-ten crossing pattern in Week 13, and the ball popped directly into the air for an easy interception at San Diego’s 19-yard line. Jones couldn’t reel in a third-and-nine end-zone target in Week 16 against the Steelers. He got a step on Keenan Lewis on a go route to the right side of the end zone, and it hit Jones in the hands as he skied over the top of Lewis. Had Jones caught it, it would have been a 23-yard score. It would also be nice to see Jones use his 4.46 speed more to his advantage. He's more glider than burner. If Jones learns to run routes with increased explosion, he will have more opportunities.
It's a good analysis. We recommend giving it a read.