Devy Diamond: Raheim Sanders

Devy Diamonds: Raheim “Rocket” Sanders, RB, South Carolina

Welcome to Devy Diamonds: Raheim “Rocket” Sanders was a 4-star prospect out of Rockledge High School in Rockledge, Florida. Sanders had over 15 Division-I offers before committing to Arkansas in June 2020. He would play for the Razorbacks for 3 seasons. Before the start of the year, Sanders had entered the transfer portal choosing to end his collegiate career for a different team. In December of 2023, Sanders committed to South Carolina, staying in the SEC.

During his freshman campaign, Sanders averaged just below 5.1 yards per carry. He had 687 all-purpose yards, however, 109 of those yards came from 11 receptions.

His sophomore season was his breakout season. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry during this campaign while rushing for 1,443 yards. Plus, he became a little more involved in the passing game catching 28 targets for 271 yards.

In his junior season, he battled through injury in only 6 games. He did have 62 rushing attempts for 209 yards with 10 receptions for 75 yards.

2024 Outlook: What to Expect

Former Arkansas running back Raheim Sanders has the potential to make a significant impact for South Carolina during the 2024 season. Sanders will bring a combination of power, speed, and agility which can energize South Carolina’s ground game. He will provide a reliable and explosive option (hence the nickname “Rocket”) to complement the passing attack. Through his years at Arkansas, he showed his ability to break tackles, however, gaining yards after contact will be crucial for him to help sustain drives and control the tempo of the game. Additionally, Sanders’ experience in pass protection will bring comfort to his quarterback, LaNorris Sellers, knowing the running back can pick up the incoming blitzes.

The 2023 season is a year that Sanders will likely want to forget. Even after returning from injury, it looked like he lost a step in his explosiveness. He will look to be the “Rocket” Sanders we saw in 2022 for the Gamecocks where he ran with aggression and speed. In 2022 he was 2nd in rushing for the SEC only behind newly added Ohio State running back Quinshon Judkins. His presence, when healthy, will likely elevate South Carolina’s offensive efficiency, positioning the team as a stronger contender in the competitive SEC.


  • Power. Sanders runs with physicality using his strong frame to break tackles. His power running style makes him a tough runner to bring down, especially in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
  • Speed. Despite his size, Sanders displays impressive speed with agility. He can break off long runs and is adept at making quick cuts, which can help him navigate through tight spaces and evade defenders.
  • Patience. Sanders demonstrates excellent patience with vision, allowing him to wait for blocks to develop and find the right running lanes.
  • Pass protection. He is reliable in pass protection, using his size and strength to effectively pick up blitzes protecting the quarterback.
  • IQ for the game. His understanding of the game and ability to quickly learn and adapt to new systems make him a smart and dependable player. Sanders’ IQ helps him make the right decisions on the field, enhancing his overall effectiveness.
  • Durability. Sanders has shown he can handle a heavy workload without a significant drop-off in performance. His stamina and ability to maintain high performance through the game are crucial for sustaining drives.

Areas of Improvement

  • Consistency. While Sanders can make big plays, he sometimes struggles with consistency. He needs to show that he can perform at a high level game in and game out.
  • Yards After Contact. 2022 was a great year for him he had 703 yards after contact, however, in his other two seasons combined he only had 515 yards after contact. 152 of those yards were in the 6 games he played in 2023, however, 82 of those yards came in week 10. This circles back to consistency being an area of improvement for him.
  • Pass Catching Consistency. Although he can catch the ball he is not a true pass-catching running back. He is used in quick short passes and not deployed all around to be considered a dual-threat back.
  • Ball Security. At times, Sanders has had issues with ball security, leading to fumbles. Showing an improved grip and technique while carrying the ball will be important to minimize turnovers. He has had 5 fumbles over the past 2 seasons.
  • Injury history. He was able to come back last season after facing an injury early on, however, once he returned it seemed he had lost a step. The 2022 fully healthy “Rocket” Sanders is the Sanders everybody wants.

Draft Stock: Eligible 2025

Consensus Projected Draft Capital: Day 3 prospect

Personal Projected Draft Capital: Day 3 prospect

Ideal Landing Spot: Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers have not done much during the 2024 off-season to elevate their running back room. They brought in two running backs who are familiar with the playbook of new Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. Plus, they drafted a bowling ball type of runner that would fit the new offensive scheme in the 6th round. This tells me that they already see some running backs in this upcoming 2025 class that could do great things for their offense. Unfortunately, for Raheim Sanders, the 2025 running back class will have a plethora of options. The bright side is that the 2025 class will also be defensive-heavy, meaning there is a ton of great defensive talent eligible to enter the draft.

I mention the defensive side of the ball because I believe the Chargers will address their defensive line early in the 2025 draft. Plus, maybe get an offensive lineman or a tight end, ideally just another body to protect quarterback Justin Herbert. Those few picks would take care of their first two days of the draft. Even though their running back room is considered weak to some they will choose to punt on the position until day 3 of the 2025 draft. Again, there will be a plethora of running backs in the 2025 draft.

Raheim Sanders could be a low investment, day 3 capital pick, yet a scheme-fit type of runner for a Greg Roman offense. He brings that power type of running style with more speed than Gus Edwards or J.K. Dobbins. Plus, he has a bigger frame than the recently drafted Kimani Vidal. Sanders may perform at an elite level this season thus raising his draft stock into a possible day 2 pick, however, right now based on what we have seen I think he will be a day 3 pick. The Chargers would love to draft a power runner like Raheim Sanders.

Fantasy Impact

This next season for Raheim Sanders will tell us much-needed information before he prepares for the NFL draft. As mentioned, it seems he lost a step when returning from injury last season. So, the question that I will ask will be what version of Raheim Sanders are we getting in 2024? If we are getting the 2022 version then expect him to have the ability to be a high-end RB2 for your team with the possibility of being a low-end RB1. On the other hand, if it seems he lost that little bit of extra juice then he will be more of a low-end RB3 for your team.

He is a better version of Dameon Pierce, take that how you want. Sanders has that strength and speed to power through defenders, however, he is a much more efficient blocker. Pierce’s rookie season was cut short due to injury, but he was on pace to rush for over 1,000 yards before his injury. If Sanders shows us he is in his pre-injury form, fully recovered, and lands on a team willing to give him the opportunity he could be on the same pace. With that being said, if the injury seems to be lingering for Sanders then we will probably get a 2023 version of Pierce where Sanders does not even break the top 50 running backs. At that point, Sanders would become a bye-week filler for your fantasy teams.

Thank you for checking out Devy Diamonds: Raheim Sanders. Follow @TheFFUniverse on X to stay tuned for future Devy Diamonds, our rankings, and much more fantasy football insight to help you stay ahead of your leagues, and check out our Rankings Page. Also, check out the full video breakdown on The Fantasy Football Universe YouTube Channel.

Enjoying The FFU? Check out our EXCLUSIVE Patreon content!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top