40 Time: 4.41
Hand: 8 7/8″
Projected Draft Position: 4th – 5th
Despite having been named to the 2008 SuperPrep All-Dixie team and PrepStar All-Southeast Region, Sanders Commings was only rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com and the No. 34-overall prospect in the state of Georgia following his final year at Westside high school. Rivals ranked Commings as their 72nd-ranked athlete in 2008 and 47th amongst the Georgia Top-50.
As well as being a do-it-all on the football field — registering three interceptions, 41 tackles, 109 rushing yards, 248 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns as a senior — Commings also performed well on the baseball diamond, having been selected in the 37th round of the 2008 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Commings appeared in three games as a true freshman at Georgia before redshirting the remainder of the season. In 2009, he’d go on to play in all 13 games, recording 12 tackles and one interception. Off the field, Commings earned Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and was named to the Dean’s List for summer semester.
In 2010, Commings earned one of the team’s Most Improved Player awards on special teams. Although without receiving a start, Commings racked 36 tackles and three interceptions in 12 games as an (RS) sophomore.
Commings was atop the depth chart as a junior in 2011 and he’d make the most of it. Starting all 14 games, Commings finished the season with 55 tackles, including four tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and 12 pass breakups.
Following his arrest in January of 2012 for simple battery and domestic violence after an incident with his girlfriend, Commings was suspended by head coach Mark Richt and missed the first two games of his senior season. He would start the remaining 12 games of the season, logging 51 tackles, three interceptions and two pass breakups. [ link ]
Physically, Commings looks more like a safety than he does a corner. He’s well-built and solid, but not heavy. At 223 pounds, Commings is thick for his position. Georgia’s website has him listed at a very impressive 6’2, however I’d expect something more typical (six-foot?) when Commings measures at the Combine.
It only seems fair that Commings pairs his size with physical play at the line, doing an effective job of jamming his receivers and performing well in man-coverage. He does a good job of recognizing the route and he can turn and go with most of the opposition.
Commings looks better in shallow routes and on receivers coming back to the ball. It appears that Commings has decent straight-line speed, but his size may limit his ability to accelerate with the likes of wide receivers. On shallow or breaking routes, however, Commings uses good anticipation to break on the ball and he has hands that can make quarterbacks pay (see: film vs. Alabama on AJ McCarron’s attempted back-shoulder throw to the endzone…Commings reads it the whole way).
Despite his size, no one should get excited about Commings being any kind of enforcer. He’s an average tackler that rarely wraps up, instead choosing to throw a shoulder and shoot low no matter the opposition. For a player with his physique, you’d like to see Commings develop his tackling and not seem so tentative around the pile.
In addition to his tackling, Commings doesn’t stand out as a blitzer. He doesn’t have an explosive first step and he appears to be an easy block coming off the edge.
Commings is likely best-suited as a nickel corner in the NFL. His anticipation serves well in shallow routes and his size is enough to hang with larger tight ends, while bullying would-be slot receivers in man-coverage.
Depending on the defensive scheme, some may see Commings as a starter because of that very same size. But his acceleration is concerning, I’m not sold on him covering double-moves on the outside and he may have to rely too much on his hands/physicality at the line.