Natural football player who is better than the sum of his parts. Possesses excellent vision. Quickly identifies the hole and shows good burst to and through the line of scrimmage. Good lateral agility, including an impressive jump-cut to elude defenders in tight spaces.
Much more effective interior runner than he looks due to impressive core strength and forward lean. Possesses subtle quickness as would-be tacklers arrive to slip and slide through contact and is too strong for arm tackles. Rarely takes flush hits. Lowers his shoulder when preparing to do so, covering the ball with both hands.
Pass blocks the same way in which he runs, showing subtle power and quickness to quietly get the job despite less than ideal size. Quick to step up in pass protection, showing good technique to deflect, slide and anchor, as necessary, rather than slamming into bigger pass rushers. Soft, natural hands out of the backfield.
Durable. Never missed a game and emerged as workhorse. Recognized by the UW coaching staff as a hard worker and team leader. Voted team captain as a junior.
Slim shoulders and possesses a relatively slight frame for the position, overall. Good but not great balance, occasionally swinging his arms to maintain control and in doing so will leave the ball exposed. Saw an awful lot of touches (653) over his final two seasons, leading to some concerns about how tread is left on his tires.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - Like Bernard, Sankey does not possess the ideal frame for a bell-cow running back, but his vision, agility, burst and underrated power make him every effective as an "air" back. Capable of handling third down duties, as well, Sankey ranks as one of 2014's best all-purpose backs and, like Bernard (the first back selected in the 2013 draft), he could earn the highest grade among all runners of his class for some teams.