With seven picks in the upcoming NFL draft and plenty of positions to address, the Washington Redskins will head into April with the idea of "value" in mind. Without a pick in the top 50, this year's process will be a good test for the team's front office, and it certainly won't be easy.
Although it's impossible to predict the strategy that head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen will use going into the draft, there are plenty of college prospects who should at least be on their radar.
The Washington Redskins 2013 NFL Draft Radar is a series of articles that helps you get familiar with prospects that would fit in Washington. Check back often for new scouting reports and info.
Name: Sanders Commings
Weight: 216 lbs
Despite having been named to the 2008 SuperPrep All-Dixie team and PrepStar All-Southeast Region, Sanders Commings was only rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com and was the No. 34-overall prospect in the state of Georgia following his final year at Westside High School, according to the Bulldogs school website.
Rivals ranked Commings as their 72nd-ranked athlete in 2008 and 47th amongst the Georgia Top 50. [ link ]
As well as being a do-it-all on the gridiron—registering three interceptions, 41 tackles, 109 rushing yards, 248 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns as a senior—Commings also performed well on the baseball field, having been selected in the 37th round of the 2008 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Commings appeared in three games as a true freshman at Georgia before redshirting the remainder of the season.
In 2009, he’d go on to play in all 13 games, recording 12 tackles and one interception. Off the field, Commings earned Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and was named to the Dean’s List for the summer semester.
In 2010, Commings earned one of the team’s Most Improved Player awards on special teams. Without receiving a start, Commings racked up 36 tackles and three interceptions in 12 games as a (RS) sophomore.
Commings was atop the depth chart as a junior in 2011, and he’d make the most of it.
Starting all 14 games, Commings finished the season with 55 tackles, including four tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and 12 pass breakups.
Following his arrest in January of 2012 for simple battery and domestic violence after an incident with his girlfriend, Commings was suspended by head coach Mark Richt and missed the first two games of his senior season.
He would start the remaining 12 games of the season, logging 51 tackles, three interceptions and two pass breakups. [ via ESPN.com ]
Physically, Commings looks more like a safety than he does a corner.
He’s well-built and solid but not heavy.
At 223 pounds, Commings is thick for his position. Georgia’s website has him listed at a very impressive 6’2". However, I’d expect something more typical (6'0"?) when Commings measures at the Combine.
It only seems fair that Commings pairs his size with physical play at the line, doing an effective job of jamming his receivers and performing well in man-to-man coverage.
He does a good job of recognizing the route, and he can turn and go with most of the opposition.
Commings looks better in shallow routes and on receivers coming back to the ball. It appears that Commings has decent straight-line speed, but his size may limit his ability to accelerate with the likes of wide receivers.
On shallow or breaking routes, however, Commings uses good anticipation to break on the ball and he has hands that can make quarterbacks pay (see: film vs. Alabama on AJ McCarron’s attempted back-shoulder throw to the endzone. Commings reads it the whole way).
Despite his size, no one should get excited about Commings being any kind of enforcer.
He’s an average tackler that rarely wraps up, instead choosing to throw a shoulder and shoot low, no matter the opposition. For a player with his physique, you’d like to see Commings develop his tackling and not seem so tentative around the pile.
In addition to his tackling, Commings doesn’t stand out as a blitzer.
He doesn’t have an explosive first step, and he appears to be an easy block coming off the edge.
Commings is likely best-suited as a nickel corner in the NFL. His anticipation serves well in shallow routes, and his size is enough to hang with larger tight ends while bullying would-be slot receivers in man coverage.
Currently, Richard Crawford is the Redskins' third corner behind DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, and they should be looking to add to the position.
That's not to say that Crawford can't handle the job. He came along well as the season progressed, but there's no doubting the lack of depth at cornerback.
Depending on the defensive scheme, some may see Commings as a starter because of that very same size I believe will limit him, but his acceleration is concerning.
I’m not sold on him covering double-moves on the outside, and he may have to rely too much on his hands and physicality at the line.