The Jacksonville Jaguars added wide receiver Ace Sanders to their roster on Saturday, selecting him with their fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Adding Sanders injects speed onto a Jaguars roster that in years past severely lacked it and looked like a team from the 1970's.
Despite running a 4.58 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, Sanders is an explosive speed threat, especially on special teams with the ball in his hand. It's that ability that likely got Sanders drafted in the mid-rounds more than anything else.
"When you time the 4.58 at the Combine and you watch the game film his quickness is electric. This guy’s got serious juice in terms of his ability to get off the mark and to separate in a short area," Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell told the media after the pick. "The time speed is what it is but the video shows that this guy can get behind defenders in the SEC and run away from guys in the SEC, as you guys have seen."
Sanders is likely going to come in right away and contribute as the Jaguars punt returner, an area the team has struggled with for seemingly a decade. Mike Thomas appeared as if he could be a threat in that role, but it never materialized and the Jaguars have gone through a series of fair catch machines at the position.
"I can produce a lot but I guess it depends on everybody around me. Like I said, my team at South Carolina it wasn’t just me out on the field it was a whole team effort," Sanders told reporters after he was picked about his return ability. "As long as I’ve got people that have enough confidence in me as much as I have in myself and that will go out there and give me a hundred percent just like I give them, then I believe it will be fine."
Sanders is likely going to play some wide receiver at times as well, be it in the slot or on the outside, where the Jaguars can get him the ball in space and let him do work.