The receiving corps of the Chicago Bears is an absolute mess, even by their standards. Roy Williams was a bust, Devin Hester isn't reliable, Dane Sanzenbacher drops too many passes and it's anyone's guess when Johnny Knox will be ready to play again, if ever. The only dependable wideout on the current roster is Earl Bennett, at best a No. 2 pass catcher.
With a franchise quarterback in Jay Cutler, who is just now entering his prime, it would be an egregious waste of his talent to surround him with another mediocre group of receivers. Something needs to be done at the wideout position if Chicago's passing attack is going to improve in 2012.
There are solid options in free agency, players that can come in and contribute right away. The same can't be said for the NFL draft. Young receivers usually take a few years to acclimate to the pro game.
WR Mohamed Sanu
Jamie Rhodes/US Presswire
Yet there are a few exceptions to that rule in the 2012 draft class, one of which is Rutgers wideout Mohamed Sanu.
Sanu (6-2, 215) started 37 of 38 possible games during his college career. He declared for the draft after his junior season leaving as the record holder in career receptions (210) for both Rutgers and the Big East. Last season, he set a single-season record for both the school and conference in receptions: he caught 115 passes for 1,206 yards and 7 TDs.
On film, Sanu is extremely impressive. He has a pair of outstanding hands and uses them to catch the ball away from his body. Circus catches and one-handed grabs were par for the course. He doesn't have blazing speed but has enough burst to create separation on go routes. He runs very hard after the catch and has a big-time stiff arm. His route running and balance are top-tier as well.
Most impressive about Sanu is his toughness and physicality. He's the type of player who searches out contact and enjoys lowering his head into defenders. His size and physical style of play make him tough to bring down, especially for smaller defenders in the secondary. Sanu is also a very willing blocker that has no issues getting dirty in the run game.
During his junior season at Rutgers, he was often used in Wildcat formations. He showed great vision running behind the offensive line and looked like a running back taking on potential tacklers.
Sanu does everything well. He is similar to Hines Ward but with more speed. His crisp route running, size and physical play should help him make a smooth transition to the NFL game. He could work both as a flanker and out of the slot. He has the potential to be an outstanding possession receiver with homerun potential.
Currently, Sanu is considered a borderline first-round selection. Some mock drafts have him going late in the first, with others dropping him down to the late second. If he impresses at the Scouting Combine, he'll definitely catapult into the first.
With his ability to potentially contribute right away, Sanu should be very high on Chicago's draft board. The club might be able to trade down a few spots in the first round, picking up an extra pick in the process, and still get their man. And if he falls to the Bears in the second round, he's a no brainer. If the Bears fail to land Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright or Alshon Jeffery, the club should target Sanu.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.