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Does Drew Sanders Solve the Commanders’ Problems at Linebacker?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2023 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Sanders, LB

School: Arkansas | Conference: SEC

College Experience: Junior | Age: 23

Height / Weight: 6’4” / 235 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round

Player Comparison: Karlos Dansby

College Statistics

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2020 Alabama SEC FR LB 8 4 5 9 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2021 Alabama SEC SO LB 7 12 12 24 2.5 1.0 0 0 0 2 0 0
*2022 Arkansas SEC JR LB 12 40 63 103 13.5 9.5 1 13 13.0 0 5 1 0 0 3
Career Overall 56 80 136 16.0 10.5 1 13 13.0 0 7 1 0 0 3
Alabama 16 17 33 2.5 1.0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Arkansas 40 63 103 13.5 9.5 1 13 13.0 0 5 1 0 0 3
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/3/2023.

Player Overview

There may be fewer things that Drew Sanders didn’t do on a football field than things he did. In high school, Sanders played quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, and linebacker. The five-star prospect chose to attend Alabama and narrow his focus to defensive end. He played special teams as a freshman before getting the chance to start his sophomore year. An injury that year limited his playing time. In the offseason, he decided to transfer to Arkansas and transition to middle linebacker. It was a great decision that paid off with career highs in just about every major statistical category, finishing the season an All-American.


  • Tall, solidly built prospect
  • Strong enough to take on and shed blockers
  • Violent hitter, often throwing ball carriers to the ground
  • In zone coverage, good awareness with great closing speed
  • May offer flexibility as a situational pass rusher


  • May lack speed to play sideline-to-sideline
  • Limited man coverage reps
  • Can struggle to locate ball carriers coming through the line of scrimmage
  • May miss tackles because he tackles too high

Let’s see his work

How he fits on the Commanders

You may be unaware, but the Commanders could use help at linebacker. The team only has Jamin Davis, David Mayo, Khaleke Hudson, Milo Eifler, and Nathan Gerry under contract. Only Davis weighs more than 230 lbs, so adding another large, athletic linebacker would be ideal. Free agency could see the team re-sign Cole Holcomb or bring in a veteran, but if they don’t, Sanders in the draft could provide a talented prospect to play next to Davis. He is fairly new to the position, so I think some of his weaknesses will improve with more time reps. My big question is can he help resolve the Commanders’ lingering problem of poor coverage from its linebackers. If he can do that, he might be prospect worthy of a Commanders’ early pick.