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2012 NFL Draft: Are the Bucs interested in Mohamed Sanu?

Peter King suggested in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 'want' Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. This makes perfect sense: Sanu was the standout offensive playmaker for Greg Schiano's Rutgers teams in recent years, and he had a terrific 2011 season despite some terrible quarterback. Catching 115 passes for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns in his final season for the Scarlet Knights, the 6'2" 215 lbs. receiver was massively productive.

It's not clear where Sanu will fall in the draft, although it seems he's usually pegged to be a second- or third-round draft pick. The Buccaneers could certainly use their second or third-round pick on the Rutgers receiver, but what kind of player will they be getting if they do? To me, Mohamed Sanu is not a great wide receiver prospect, but he does look like a useful addition to the receiving corps. He reminds me mostly of one player the Bucs should be intimately familiar with: Marques Colston.

Like Colston, Sanu does his best work in the middle of the field, where he can be a real matchup problem. He frequently lined up in the slot at Rutgers and was devastating down the seam and against zone defenses. He's not the kind of player who will really stretch the field or win on the outside very often. He lacks speed and is a sloppy route runner who rounds out his cuts, rather than sticking his foot in the ground and exploding out of breaks.

But his ability to consistently catch balls in traffic should help him succeed, if he's used in the right way. The fact that he had little trouble catching off-target passes bodes well for his ability to translate to the NFL. Most importantly, he worked in a pro-style offense and should have the ability to make an early impact.

Here's the downside, though: while he reminds me of Marques Colston in the way he attacks defenses and is most productive, he isn't as tall as Colston. While Colston is an important cog in the Saints' offense, he's also a somewhat limited receiver who won't win consistently on the outside and is best used as a slot receiver, attacking the middle of the field. That's what I see Sanu bringing to the Bucs' offense, but that's not something you give up a high second-round pick for - and that's where the Bucs may have to select him to get him on the team.