Photo of Jalen Saunders
Drafted By: Jets
  • Round 4
  • Pick 4
  • Overall 104

Combine Results

Grade
5.21 ?
  • 4.44 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 34.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 122.0 INCH
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"Saunders weighed in at a hefty 165 pounds at the Senior Bowl. At 165 pounds, he's one of most physical receivers in football; he ear holes defensive backs. He can play in the slot or on the outside, and he can also play special teams." -- Mike Mayock

  • 5'9" Height
  • 30" Arm Length
  • 165LBS. Weight
  • 8 7/8" Hands

Overview

Also ran track as a California prep. Began his college career at Fresno State in 2010, where he played all 13 games (one start) and had 30 receptions for 462 yards (15.4-yard average) and three touchdowns. Added 32 kickoff returns for 738 yards (23.1). Started 8 of 13 games in '11, snagging 50-1,065-12 (21.3). Following '12 spring practice, transferred to Oklahoma because he did not like the way he was being used in new head coach Tim DeRuyter's offense. Once eligible, he started 8 of 9 games for the Sooners and produced 62-829-3 (13.4). Started all 13 games in '13, totaling 61-729-8 (12.0). Also returned 31 career punts for 465 yards (15.0), including three scores.

Analysis

Strengths

Light on his feet with a fluid stride. Good balance and body control. Nifty, conscientious route runner. Has speed and twitch to separate vs. man coverage -- sinks his hips with ease and pops out of breaks. Quick, soft hands. Slippery after the catch. Eludes the first tackler and can turn a short throw into a long gain if he gets a step. Three punt-return TDs in 25 returns at OU -- eludes the first wave, runs to daylight and can take it the distance.

Weaknesses

Marginal size. Cannot play outside -- is easily knocked off course and needs a free release. Lets throws into his body. Small catch radius. Lacks elite top-end vertical speed, especially for his size (averaged just 12.0 yards per catch as a senior). Outmuscled in a crowd. Limited run strength. Lets throws into his body. Weak blocker -- gets ragdolled outside. Durability could be a concern -- is not built to take a pounding.

Draft Projection

Rounds 5-6

Bottom Line

A lightweight, quicker-than-fast, competitive slot receiver and punt returner, Saunders will always have size limitations, but has the hands, suddenness, polish and moxie to be a useful piece for a creative offensive coordinator able to free him up. Return ability adds to value.
-Nolan Nawrocki
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.

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