Mohamed Sanu, NFL Draft 2012: Breakout Year Drives Up Rutgers WR's Stock

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Josh Jackson #14 of the Army Black Knights misses a tackle against Mohamed Sanu #6 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during a game at Yankee Stadium on November 12, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Rutgers product Mohamed Sanu has moved up the NFL draft boards after a breakout junior season.

That Mohamed Sanu is considered a fringe first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft is a bit of an upset. A year ago, it was hard to tell what to make of the Rutgers wide receiver. Heading into his junior year, Sanu had plenty of size (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) and displayed some solid skill, but he was also playing somewhat extensively out of the wildcat formation. During each of his first two years, Sanu had more rushing attempts than receptions.

Allowed to play primarily as a wide receiver in his third year, Sanu broke out. In 2011, Sanu racked up more receiving yards (1,206) and made more receptions (115) than he had in the two previous seasons combined. He was consistent, too, going over 100 yards in 7 of 13 games and making at least six catches in all but two games.

That kind of performance has turned Sanu into a bonafide contender for a first-round selection. Mocking the Draft considers Sanu to be the fifth best wide receiver prospect in the draft and has him ranked as the No. 31 player overall. One of SB Nation's earlier Mock Drafts, had him going at No. 30 to the San Francisco 49ers, although the latest now has him dropping out of the first round. Here's what Ryan Van Bibber previously had to say about Sanu:

If San Francisco is going to stick with Alex Smith for the near-term future, they need to get him some receiving help. Sanu allows them to rely on Michael Crabtree less and end the Braylon Edwards experiment. A big, physical target with good hands and yards after the catch ability fits perfectly with Smith's limitations as a quarterback.

For more on Sanu, check out Rutgers blog On the Banks. For the latest news and analysis of the 2012 NFL Draft, be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL Draft coverage.

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