Ja’Tavion Sanders Dynasty Rookie Profile | Texas TE Fantasy Football Outlook

Brock Bowers may be the undisputed TE1 of this class, but Texas TE Ja'Tavion Sanders could present a great value for dynasty managers in upcoming rookie drafts.

Most dynasty fantasy football managers and NFL scouts alike start — and end — the conversation for the top TE prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft once the name Brock Bowers is mentioned.

To be fair, Bowers is very well deserving of the immense praise he has received in the early goings of the draft process, but does Texas TE Ja’Tavion Sanders deserve serious consideration for being in the same tier entering upcoming rookie drafts later this year? Let’s take a closer look.

Should You Draft Ja’Tavion Sanders in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

The value of the tight end position can vary significantly based on league format. If you are in a run-of-the-mill, 12-team PPR league where the TEs don’t get any additional reception bonuses, then it would take an exceptional TE to justify investing first-round draft capital into a position that traditionally has a much lower scoring ceiling than elite RB or WR prospects.

On the flip side of that coin, top-tier TE prospects with a high-end pass-catching profile receive a drastic boost in value in tight end premium leagues. This is where the value of Sanders will hit a fork in the road for many different dynasty managers.

He is definitely in the conversation for, if not the consensus, TE2 in this class behind Bowers, which likely gives him second-round draft capital in most formats. The fact that he is an early declare with two years’ worth of quality production as a pass catcher certainly makes him a top-tier prospect by most production metrics.

If he tests well for a player listed at 6’4” and 243 pounds while also landing in a great situation, his stock could rise as high as a late first in tight end premium formats.

Who Is Sanders?

Background

Sanders was a highly touted five-star prospect coming out of Ryan High School in the state of Texas. He was a two-sport athlete during his prep days, spending time on both the gridiron and the hardwood.

He was a force on both sides of the football during his high school career, being named to the First Team All-District 4-5A Division 1 at defensive end. His exceptional impact on both sides of the ball saw him receive multiple D-1 offers before ultimately deciding to stay in the state of Texas to play college ball.

College Production

Sanders was buried on the depth chart for the entirety of his true freshman year but made a huge impact once he entered the starting lineup in his sophomore season with 54 receptions for 613 yards and five scores.

MORE: 2024 Dynasty Mock Draft

His production dropped a bit during his junior campaign while competing with WRs Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell for targets in the high-powered Longhorn offense, but he still was an integral piece of the offense with 45 receptions for 682 yards and two scores in 2023.

Injury History

Sanders did deal with a lower leg injury during the middle part of the 2023 season but ultimately appeared in all 14 games of his junior year.

Sanders’ Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Great hands; no drops over his 67 targets in 2023; strong hands at the catch point and flashed some great hand-eye coordination with multiple one-handed snags and catches away from his frame during his collegiate career.
  • Quality top speed for a tight end; can present mismatches against stiffer linebackers and safeties when attacking vertically on seams and deep crossing routes.
  • Good feel for blocking in space against quicker DBs in the screen game; has the ability to gear down and wall off faster defenders when stalk blocking on the outside.
  • Physical presence as a ball carrier who displays surprising lateral movement to evade would-be tacklers; can power through arm tackles and does not hesitate to finish plays by initiating contact with defenders to get the tough, physical yards.
  • Can operate effectively as an in-line TE but also has the versatility of a move TE to manufacture ideal matchups in the passing game at the NFL level.

Weaknesses

  • While there is some effectiveness creating separation against linebackers and safeties, Sanders wins on routes more often than not with athleticism vs. nuanced route running.
  • Impact as an in-line run blocker is inconsistent; often got rolled back on his heels, leading to many reps where bigger edge rushers were easily able to stack and shed him at the point of attack (POA); his punch lacks the violence to displace bigger defenders consistently.
  • Would like to see more consistency winning at the top of the stem of the route with physicality, deception, and cleaner footwork.
  • Is a bit too indecisive as a lead blocker when asked to pull across the formation.

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