Since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 draft, Ace Sanders has failed to live up to his expectations. He showed explosiveness in his time at South Carolina University demonstrating the ability to lineup all over the field at the wide receiver position and be very effective as a punt returner. His college highlights also provide proof of his ability to make defenders miss in the open field but since coming to the Jaguars, Sanders has yet to fully showcase his talents.
Ace Sanders showed his potential in 2013, finishing the season with 51 receptions and 484 yards but he took a major step back in 2014. Sanders was suspended the first four games of last season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and he wasn’t able to build a good connection with Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles when he returned to the team.
Despite that the Jaguars have yet to strap on the pads, Ace Sanders has received a lot of praise from the Jaguars coaching staff in the team’s offseason workouts.
"The consistency of every rep is really showing up and it was from the first day. He’s really stacked up some good days. We’ve really took notice of him as a staff.” –Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley"
Granted Jaguars fans must understand that Gus Bradley is a coach that is very enthusiastic about his players but he has already mentioned Sanders several times in the offseason. I don’t see any reason not to believe Jags Head Coach Gus Bradley because he was very high on Allen Hurns before the 2014 season and Hurns had the most yards and touchdowns receptions for the Jaguars last season.
However with the addition of 5th round draft pick Rashad Greene, the wide receiver position is now becoming very crowded in Jacksonville. This is a huge off season for Ace, many expect him to be on the roster bubble with the Jaguars signing Bryan Walters and the emergence of Allen Hurns. The big question for Ace Sanders is will he finally contribute?
My answer is yes, with two years under his belt in the NFL and continuing to learn from Jaguars WR coach Jerry Sullivan should help Sanders become relevant. Ace Sanders failed last year in Jacksonville and its safe to say he is fully aware that his job is now on the line.
"Hopefully, Sanders really is getting better and he is at the best Bradley has seen since drafting him in 2013. It was a pleasure to see him with some impressive scampers in 2013 and it would be nice to see him return to form in 2015- Luke Sims Black and Teal Writer"
If he can live up to his potential, Ace Sanders can bring a lot to the Jags offense and special teams. He can compete with Rashad Greene to be the starting slot receiver, he seems to have the ability to make the defenders miss in the open field and he has the potential to be a good punt returner. I understand everything surrounding Ace Sanders is all based on potential but some players take a couple of years to successfully translate to the NFL and I believe thats the case with Ace Sanders. I think 2015 will finally be the season that Ace makes an impact for the Jaguars offense and lives up to his expectations.
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