As we explained on Wednesday in introducing
Sanford, a 5-10, 200-pound safety, appears in this series more for his special teams production than his play on the Vikings defense. Add in the fact that Sanford was a 7th round pick last April and his 2009 season becomes even more impressive.
The Vikings kick coverage units improved dramatically in 2009, a function of improved kicking from
Sanford impressed as early as the offseason program last summer and he definitely was on people’s radar during training camp. The SEC’s leading tackler during his 4-year career at Ole Miss, Sanford brought that aggressive play-making mentality with him to the Vikings and had it on display early and often. Ultimately, Sanford finished the 2009 season ranked 3rd on the team in special teams tackles with 19, and also added a forced fumble to the mix.
A 7th rounder playing in 15 games during his rookie season is notable. Perhaps Sanford would’ve made this series on his special teams contributions alone – he did have 3 games where he tallied 3 special teams tackles. But Sanford’s performance on defense made him a cinch for this series. He recorded 15 defensive tackles on the season, even starting 1 game for an injured
Sanford’s 1st NFL season went just like his college career – lots of productivity but not a lot of time in the headlines. Not a bad player to have on your team.
Sounds a lot like a star out of the spotlight.
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