Former Kentucky running back Raymond Sanders is hoping to take his talents to the NFL in this weekend's draft. In his senior year, and his first year under new coach Mark Stoops, Sanders ran for 464 yards in 11 games and 3 touchdowns. He was the team's feature back and led the team with an average of 9 carries per game. Sanders also averaged two receptions per game for a 7 yard average, which was the best among UK's running backs. Over the course of his career Sanders was also active on kick-off return teams. Here are his measurables as of Kentucky's Pro Day in March:
Weight: 198 pounds
40 Yard Dash: 4.53
Additionally, Sanders vertical jump was 28 inches and he bench pressed 225 pounds 14 repetitions. Sanders size, Pro Day performance, and collegiate production will probably prevent him from being drafted. To give you an idea of Sanders top-flight competition, one can look at former University of Washington running back Bishop Sankey's Pro Day numbers and see the discrepancy. The other running backs are listed here.
What will help Sanders is his special teams experience, his 20 yard dash time (reportedly 2.7 seconds), and his proven adeptness at catching the ball out of the backfield. He also improved every year at UK, and leaves college with relatively few carries - important if one believes a NFL running backs shelf-life can be measured in total carries. Sanders has a chance to be signed as a free agent, and make either a team or its practice team. This was the same path former UK running back Alfonzo Smith who signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals and today remains with the team. Possible candidates include teams who look to feature running backs as receivers, like the New Orleans Saints for example. If signed to a practice team, he could end up in a division where the defenses face that type of offense at least six games a season.
Below are the highlights from Sanders best game statistically. In this game he carried the ball 15 times for 123 yards and 1 touchdown.