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Scouting Report

40 time: 4.74

Projection: Fourth Round

Overview: Impressive producer in both 2019 and 2020, seemed primed to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft after earning first team all-AAC honors. Despite being labeled as a potential first-round dark horse, returned for his senior year. His production took a pretty notable dive, but his performance stayed relatively even. He's an odd prospect given his size as a defensive end, but teams will be willing to bet on his quickness and technique.

Strengths: Has good burst out of his stance and can threaten offensive tackles around the arc. Fights hard against double teams and won't quit on plays. Bends well at the knees and plays with quality leverage for his size. Urgent with his hands and has good twitch in his adjustments. Closing speed in pursuit is solid. Slick side-to-side mover who is effective on stunts. Hand usage has plenty of promising flashes.

Weaknesses: Incredibly thin lower half and overall lack of weight is going to scare NFL teams. Lacks ideal length for a defensive end. Lacks the power to shock blockers when making initial contact. Size may lead some teams to view him as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. Range and coverage ability aren't ideal to move into a full-time linebacker role.

Pro Comp: Obum Gwacham, BC Lions (CFL) - While a CFL player isn't an ideal comparison for a player who will likely go in the top 150 picks, there aren't many defensive ends with a similar body type to Sanders. Sanders is further along technically and should have more of an early impact as a rotational rusher, but will need to work above his weight class in the run game to become a high rep player.