Could Mohamed Sanu become the latest Rutgers product to join the Patriots?
|02.26.12 at 3:52 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to finding players, Rutgers has been a pretty dependable spot for the Patriots the last few years. And with New England looking to get younger at the wide receiver spot this offseason, Bill Belichick could find himself another Scarlet Knight in this year’s draft with wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound receiver, who had 115 catches for 1,206 yards this past season with Rutgers. He’s projected to be a late first-round, early second-round pick, and could be there for New England at either No. 27 or No. 31 overall. (The Patriots also pick at No. 48 and No. 63 overall in the second round.)
‘I’m very, very fond of Mohamed as a person. He’s a tremendous guy and he’s a special football player,’ said Greg Schiano, who coached Sanu at Rutgers before taking over in Tampa Bay this offseason. ‘He singlehandedly won games for us — heck, that one catch he makes against South Florida, on his back, one hand, tips it to himself. Not a lot of guys I’ve seen do that.
‘There’s going to be a team that’s very, very fortunate to get Mohamed with their club, because he is not only a great player in the field, he’s great in the locker room. A great person.’
Sanu, who ran a 4.67 40 at the combine on Sunday, said he’s already spoken with some of his former college teammates like Devin McCourty and Tiquan Underwood about the transition from college to the NFL and what to expect along the way.
‘I talk to a few guys,’ Sanu said when asked about a possible Patriots connection. ‘I talk to Devin McCourty and Tiquan, and they told me everything I needed to hear and gave me some great advice. Those are great guys and I really appreciate their time and efforts informing me of everything I need to know.’
Sanu said he has also spoken briefly with Belichick over the last couple of years.
‘I saw him a few times at some of our games. We didn’t talk much, just a few times,’ he said. ‘I know his son — he played on the team. So I know coach Belichick.’
The knock on Sanu is that he fails to get separation from defenders, but Schiano said he believes the receiver can answer ‘a lot of those questions’ over the course of the week in Indianapolis, and has full faith that Sanu will be a special player at the next level.
‘You have to be a complete receiver,’ Sanu said. ‘You have to be able to block, run great routes, catch the ball, do all that a wide receiver does. You can’t be a guy who can just catch the ball and takes run plays off, because it’s the other plays that are designed for the running backs so he gets his chance to shine and you have to make sure you do your job for him because when you’re running your route he’s back there pass protecting for you. So I just feel I’m going to do my job, my 1/11th and the team is successful.’