Unless you’re a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals or Rutgers football, you may not be aware of the up and coming rookie WR Mohamed Sanu. Allow me to enlighten you.
Rutgers doesn’t get the attention West Virginia does or even the same caliber recruits. But players like Ray Rice, Kenny Britt, Devin McCourty and Anthony Davis are showing the NFL world that talented players are indeed emerging from former head coach Greg Schiano’s Scarlett Knights. Mohamed Sanu will further prove this true.
Many heard the story about someone prank calling Sanu, pretending to be Bengals owner Mike Brown and telling him he was being selected by the Bengals with the 27th overall pick, only to find out later that this was merely a foreshadowing of a delayed prophecy. Eventually the Bengals DID draft Sanu in the 3rd round with the 83rd pick. Sanu would have been picked up earlier if he hadn’t ran a slow 40-yard dash at the combine. This turned many organizations off to him as a 1st-2nd round selection.
Sanu, the Big East’s record holder for most receptions in a single season (a record previously held by Larry Fitzgerald), wasn’t going to let a poor combine time get him down. At his pro-day work out he bettered his 4.62 dash with a 4.41 and a 4.48.
Mohamed Sanu is an all-purpose player who can be used in exotic packages, which Jay Gruden must be loving right now. Sanu can throw the ball (8-18, 207 yds, 4 TDs) and as well as carry the rock from the backfield. He is a consistent, dependable target. He started 37 of 38 games at Rutgers and in 2011 he tied the Big-East record for catches in a game with 13. The next week he broke that record with 16 receptions. Sanu was used exclusively at WR in 2011, and accounted for 115 receptions, 1206 yards, and 7 touchdowns.
Sanu is a natural-born pass catcher. His big frame makes him a nightmare for defenders and his long arms give him a huge catching radius. While watching some of his best catches last year, I was reminded of Calvin Johnson in the sense that he is able to stop in mid stride and reach behind his body for a bad pass (which he saw a lot of). For as strong as he is, it’s ridiculous for him to be that quick. Sanu rarely ever goes down on first contact.
With all these great abilities, there is still one asset Sanu possesses that is his biggest strength. His hands. He catches almost everything thrown his way because of his amazing concentration and hand-eye coordination and he hardly ever drops the ball once it hits his mitts.
Get ready, Bengals fans, to watch defenders bounce off of Mohamed Sanu as they try to tackle him after he makes a spectacular leaping grab over their heads. Pencil him in as the #2 receiver whether it’s in the slot or opposite A.J. Green. At some point he will win the #2 spot and be the 2nd or 3rd most productive receiver behind Green and possibly Jermaine Gresham.