- BProjectionRound 5
- YearRS Senior
- Hand9 ⅛
- Arm32 ¼
Strong Points: Shows dominating ability at a lower level of competition. Very good athlete for a big guy. Excellent short-area quickness and shows speed for 15-20 yards. Easily 2-gaps a center at the FCS level. Long arms for a short guy (32 3/8"). Very competitive and doesn't take plays off. Extra stout run defender. Flashes as an inside pass rusher.
Weak Points: Short. Played at a lower level of comp. Still a bit raw technique-wise. Limited to NT-only in NFL, where he won't be a pass rusher.
The Way We See It: He might have played on the nose, but Saunders had excellent production -- 72 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6 ½ sacks in 2018 and 14 combined sacks over the last two seasons. Saunders is a dancing bear with speed, quickness and change of direction, not to mention explosive strength. He can penetrate and disrupt vs. the run, even spy at the line of scrimmage and play contain. With his quickness off the ball, Saunders shows some inside pass-rush potential, but that is not what he will be doing at the NFL level. He should be able to play on the nose in any scheme and be a good backup who can even rotate in as a rookie. Height notwithstanding, Saunders has mostly solid traits.