Friday, January 28, 2011


Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher's performance during Senior Bowl workouts is improving the Buckeyes' draft stock. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
MOBILE, Ala. — Although he was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher is making his mark this week in Mobile.

Sanzenbacher is displaying the skills that made him not only a first team all-Big Ten selection, but also the Buckeyes' Most Valuable Player.

"Dane Sanzenbacher was the best route runner at the Senior Bowl, despite the fact he wasn't even in Mobile until Day 2," The New York Times wrote in its 'Risers and Fallers and Steady as they go' blog on Thursday. They listed Sanzenbacher as a 'Riser' during the write-up, which you can find by clicking here.

"His footwork was sharp and consistently drew raves from the (Cincinnati) Bengals receiving coach, who made it a point to tell him that he had excellent feet.

"The former Buckeye also took the perfect angle as he exited each break and this made him a frequent target of his North squad quarterbacks in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. While there are bigger, faster and better runners at the receiver position, Sanzenbacher's routes, body control and hands illustrate the sometimes overlooked point that the most important part of playing receiver is to consistently be where the quarterback expects."

I have written in the past that Sanzenbacher's size, speed and skill sets remind me of New England Patriots star receiver Wes Welker. Apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks that.

The Boston Herald compared the characteristics of Sanzenbacher and Welker on Thursday, going so in depth that they even talked about the color of their skin.

Sanzenbacher said he's used to being compared with Welker and looks at it as a major positive in the draft process.

"Oh, I get that all the time," Sanzenbacher said about the Welker comparisons. "But he's definitley one of my biggest allies in this process. Because the more you can get compared to a guy that's that good, that successful, in the league it helps me.

"I've never really specifically tried to model my game after him or anything like that, but I definitely respect what he does."

The Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday at 4 p.m. and will be televised on the NFL Network.