With their fourth pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals got A.J. Green's partner in crime as they drafted Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu with the No. 83 overall pick. Since the Bengals didn't use free agency to fill the No. 2 receiver position and since they let Jerome Simpson sign with the Minnesota Vikings (I'm not complaining), the team needed to fill the need in the draft. After grabbing a cornerback, guard and defensive tackle in the first two rounds, the pick likely came down between Sanu, the best available wide receiver, and Lamar Miller, the best available running back.
The Bengals showed that they felt wide receiver was a bigger need. Sanu will be competing for the team's No. 2 receiver spot and has the size and ability to compliment Green well. The big measuring stick, though, will be his consistence as that was the biggest complaint about the receiver he'll be replacing. If Sanu has a good season, with Green, Jordan Shipley's return, Jermaine Gresham and others, the Bengals will have a very productive passing attack.
Here's Sanu's draft profile from Pro Football Weekly:
STRENGTHS Sanu is excellent working drive routes and across the field to read coverages and sit down in the holes of zones. He is a natural at shielding himself from defenders and giving the quarterback a clear throwing lane. He is a reliable hands catcher who is very technical at the top of his routes and when competing with corners to give himself space to secure the catch. Sanu is a throwback receiver who sees the ball when going across the middle. He is fearless in all aspects.
WEAKNESSES Sanu is virtually nonexistent in the deep passing game. He is slow off the line and doesn’t have the speed to get behind NFL corners. He can get lazy in and out of his breaks downfield, and he almost loses interest in competing once the route gets deeper than 7 to 10 yards. He is not an explosive athlete with the ball in his hands and simply gets what he can after the catch.
OVERALL FOOTBALL TRAITS
|Production||"2009: (13) - 51-639-12.5-3 2010:(12/11) - 44-418-9.5-2 2011: (13/13) -- 115-1,206-10.5-7 Career -- Rushing: 125-653-5.2-9. Passing: 8-18-205-4-0. PRs: 29-121-4.2-0. "|
|Height-Weight-Speed||Above average height and has added good bulk to frame. Also has huge hands (10 1/8) and long arms (33 1/2) but top-end speed is marginal.|
|Durability||Slowed by foot injury in 2010. Missed 2010 spring game with a head injury.|
|Intangibles||"Enrolled in February of 2009 and moved from safety to receiver during spring practice that year. Turned 19 a week before the 2008 high school season and unable to play in games as a senior, but did practice with the team. Lined up at quarterback, receiver and punter in high school. "|
WIDE RECEIVER SPECIFIC TRAITS
|Separation Skills||"Locates and exploits seams when working against zone coverage. Physical route runner that used frame to shield defenders from the ball. Shows some savvy with the angles of his stems and the leverage he uses. However, he does not explode off the line of scrimmage and he has marginal suddenness. He has to gear down too much on comeback routes. He lacks adequate explosiveness out of his breaks. Has a terrible time getting off the press. Most catches are contested. "|
|Ball Skills||Above average ball skills. Shows good hand-eye coordination. Displays ability to adjust to the ball in the air. Good overall body control. Makes some acrobatic grabs (see: one-handed TD catch vs. UNC and one-handed sideline catch vs. Syracuse in 2011) and some impressive fingertip catches. Can catch passes thrown above head. Can absorb contact and hold on. Only two knocks are his occasional tendency to double-catch when he needs to pluck cleanly on the run and his inconsistency tracking the deep ball.|
|Big play ability||"Is a taller-than-average receiver with long arms and very good vertical leap (36) for his size. Shows on tape that he's capable of climbing the ladder and winning the jump ball. Is a red zone threat. Shows some shiftiness and has good vision as a runner. Also is a strong runner after the catch and will break some arm tackles. However, he timed slow at combine and plays slow on the tape we've studied (12 games between 2010 and 2011). Not explosive enough to recover when gets slowed down near the line. Lacks good initial burst after the catch and will not consistently make first defender miss, let alone string multiple moves together in space. "|
|Competitiveness||"Not afraid to work middle of field. Runs hard and fights for yards after contact. Continues to add bulk and strength to frame. Much better effort as a blocker in 2011 but still a bit streaky in this area. Will take some poor angles and opt out of contact when it might not be necessary at times. But at other times he shows a mean streak and tries to knock guys out. Versatile player; works outside, in the slot and occasionally as Wildcat trigger on offense, and also contributed in the return game in college (although appears to lack the speed to do so in NFL). Turns into a defender after a turnover."|