Size – 5094e – 200e – 4.50e
Strong Points – Very productive, play speed, overall athleticism, strength and explosion, initial quickness, instincts/vision, outside run, hands, durability
Weak Points – Average size, not a top after-contact runner, blocking
2013 stats: 327 carries for 1870 yards, 5.7 yards per carry, 20 TDs, 28 catches for 304 yards, one TD
Summation – Sankey is a third-year junior and a two-year starter. As a starter, he has been very productive running for over 3,300 yards and 36 touchdowns the last two seasons. During that period, he has also caught 61 passes.
Sankey is not a very big back at about 5094 – 200, but he is strong and very explosive. He has very good overall athleticism, with a quick burst, excellent change of direction, and balance. Washington plays from a spread formation, but there are many run plays that are run from the pistol.
Sankey has very good initial quickness to go along with top run instincts and vision. He is a quick cutter, who can find an opening and burst. While he lacks ideal size, his strength and balance allow him to break arm tackles and get extra yardage. In saying that, he is not a power back who is going to move the pile and get the tough yards in short yardage situations. He is more of a creative space player and can make big plays.
Sankey gets a lot of long runs because of his quickness and vision, but he is really more quick than fast. I have seen get run down from behind on a few plays. His play speed is in the 4.50 range.
As a receiver, Sankey shows good hands and is dangerous if he gets the ball in space. He has the run skills to turn a short pass into a long gain. He isn’t asked to run many different types of routes, but he is effective getting open. As a pass blocker, he is willing but not consistently effective. He lacks the size and power to anchor big pass rushers.
Though Sankey is a very productive college player, I don’t see him as a “bell cow” type in the NFL. He will be best utilized as a rotation back who is complemented by a power back. He also has the skills to be a very good kickoff returner. If he can get 15-20 touches a game as a runner, receiver, and returner he can be a productive NFL player. Unless he runs really fast at the Combine, I don’t see him getting drafted before the third round.