Fitting the Bills: Drew Sanders MLB Arkansas
Height: 6043 Weight: 235 40: 4.66 RAS 8.97
Sanders is a raw long disruptive force. He can man the middle or rush off the edge, having played both positions. At Alabama, he was used exclusively as an edge rusher, but he truly blossomed after transferring to Arkansas, where he was put off ball in the middle of the field, and then moved all over the field. Sanders is at his best when unleashed to crash downhill, and capable of making jarring hits sideline to sideline. He was also highly productive for Arkansas behind the line of scrimmage, tallying 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks and causing 3 forced fumbles. Although still learning to make plays behind him, he did manage to intercept one pass and defended 5. Perhaps one of the more valuable contributions Sanders made, and a skill that may serve him well on Sundays, is his ability to play QB spy where his length, pursuit and athleticism can neutralize mobile QBs.
As Sanders develops more coverage ability, he can be used as a pass rusher on obvious passing downs, either blitzing off ball or with his hand in the dirt off the edge. Now that McDermott is calling his own plays on Defense, he may covet the ability to attack from multiple areas on the field. I can even see the Bills implementing some 3-3-5 alignments with Sanders or Von Miller as the 3rd/ blitzing LB to try to create some havoc and an element of surprise. Sanders gives the Bills a traditional, run stuffing MLB, with size and athleticism, who also can aid in the pass rush. That versatility makes him one of the more intriguing and potentially valuable defensive prospects in the draft. At 22, he has nothing but upside as he learns the position.
Watch one game, and Sanders passion and excitement jumps off the screen. He could be a dynamic game changing prospect for the Bills to plug into one of their biggest remaining holes on the roster.