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Stats: 61 receptions, 729 yards, 8 TDs; Projection: Day 3
Since Jalen Saunders stands at just 5’9” and 157 pounds it’s easy to see why this Boomer Sooner might be somewhat overlooked. What he lacks in size he makes up for with speed and knowhow. The kid gets open and he catches the football, two skills that surprisingly enough can get overlooked when evaluating pass catchers in the world of 40-times and measurables. The slot receiver runs crisp routes, understands how to attack zone defenses and is very quick with his change of direction ability, which often puts opposing DBs off balance.
At his best making things happen after the catch, Saunders uses his quickness to make defenders miss in the open field. He can then kick into another gear when he sees a crease with his home-run potential. His numbers are down this season, but that’s a product of inconsistent quarterback play in Norman. Saunders averaged 21.3 YPC in 2011 while at Fresno State when he was All-WAC (1,065 yards, 12 TDs). Last season, in just nine games (eight starts), the California native caught 62 passes for 829 yards (13.4 YPC) as a Sooner, which is more indicative of his ability.