2019 Pats: WR "Bust a Move" Sanu Watch

lexrageorge

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2nd round picks are always a bigger crapshoot than they seem, especially the back half of the round, which is where most of the team's 2nd round picks come from.

Hits (10): Matt Light (suck it Borges), Branch, Eugene Wilson, Chung, Vollmer, Gronk, Spikes (*), Shane Vereen, Jamie Collins, Jimmy G

Misses (14): Klemm, Bethel Johnson, Marquise Hill, Chad Jackson, Wheatley, Ron Brace, Darius Butler (**), Jermaine Cunningham, Dowling, Tavon Wilson, Dobson, Jordan Richards, Cyrus Jones, Duke Dawson (***).

Incomplete: Joejuan Williams

42% hit rate is probably only slightly below average for 2nd round picks, which makes sense as many of them were later in the round. Also, some of the misses were done in by injury, which is random and unpredictable.

*: Spikes was OK as a situational LB when he wasn't off the reservation.

**: Butler was a hit career wise, as he had some decent seasons as a rotational DB for Indy. He just didn't do much for NE. But what makes this a big miss is that the 1st round pick the Pats traded out to get him turned into Clay Matthews.

***: Disclaimer that Dawson is still in his 2nd year. But he's no longer with the Pats, so he's a miss for NE.
 
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johnmd20

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And imagine you're Sanu? You go from your season being over to heading to the best team in the NFL. What a day for that young man.
 

TFisNEXT

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Sanu has terrific hands. This is a really good upgrade for the Patriots assuming he can catch onto the offense quickly...and there's no reason to think he can't. He's always been a good route runner.
 

moondog80

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They get a comp pick if/when he signs elsewhere in 2021, right?
 

Ale Xander

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2nd rounder? why? We have Gordon and Harry coming backand Meyers showed great hands last night.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I think the trade mainly buys protection against bad luck with WR health putting us in a very bad spot, which is definitely worth something for a team with championship aspirations. If everybody is healthy, is he a significant upgrade over Dorsett or Myers in 3 WR sets? I'm not all that convinced, especially in the near term as he learns the offense. But if Gordon is out for a while or Jules gets banged up and has to miss a stretch of games, having another competent experienced WR like Sanu could be the difference between the offense cratering and the offense muddling through. And of course you always want to be able to vary your WR personnel somewhat based on how you're trying to attack a defense and for the value of giving DBs different looks and players to think about.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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2nd rounder? why? We have Gordon and Harry coming backand Meyers showed great hands last night.
Harry hasn't played a down yet. Gordon has taken a ton of big hits this year and is dealing with multiple injuries. Dorsett has been banged up. Edelman is banged up.

Why wouldn't we is the better question.

Can't sweat a 2nd vs. a 3rd or whatever when you're trying to win a title. The extra year of control is a real benefit too.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Brady should tweet Sanu the listing for his Brookline house with some comment about “let’s make this number thing work out for both of us”.
 

Rook05

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The point has been made in the past, but while I’m completely fine with the price, the hit rate in the second round isn’t indicative of how the Pats view their draft strategy. They often take swings in the second round, and then backfill with what they view as higher floor players in the later rounds. That still doesn’t change the results which have been mediocre at best, but they are clearly okay with a lower hit rate in second rounders.

All that said, this was a position of need and I’m glad they addressed it.
 

SMU_Sox

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You need depth at 2/3 skill positions. Tight end is... well shite, shite-lite, or as the lawyers might pen “merely adequate”. RB is stocked. WR now is stocked and assuming Meyers and Harry develop you have that group stocked for 2+ years. There you go. Let’s see more 40 when Harry comes back and Sanu gets more of the offense.
 

joe dokes

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In the 28-3 game, was Sanu the WR chatting on the sidelines the one who was gloating or the one who said “Yeah, but they still have #12 over there.”
He was the gloater.
At 21-0, wide receiver Mohamand Sanu was so confident he turned to team-mate Gabriel and said:

“They ain’t never met nothing like this. We about to put 40 something on their ass.”

Gabriel’s reply…

They got Tom Brady though.”
https://www.the42.ie/super-bowl-li-sound-fx-3232520-Feb2017/
Would be pretty funny if that was the first thing the team watched on "film day."

"we have a new guy today.....I think a lot of you know him already......"
 

Ralphwiggum

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2nd rounder? why? We have Gordon and Harry coming backand Meyers showed great hands last night.
Gordon is always one slip up away from being gone and is banged up, Harry hasn't played a down of NFL football yet. Edelman is 32 and was dealing with injuries earlier this year. They are uncomfortably close to Gunner and/or Slater playing meaningful snaps at WR. They needed to bring in a reliable target for Brady.
 

Kliq

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Sanu was a college teammate with our multiple Rutgers DBs so I always took his boasting in the SB as him trying to beat his friends and not disrespect for the Pats. I have a feeling he will be a great teammate in New England.
 

Cornboy14

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Super aside - I think we can call Tavon Wilson a hit. Dude has played 8 years in the NFL. Of the 32 players drafted after him, only 12 are still playing.
 

johnmd20

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"They got Tom Brady though" is one of the greatest mic'ed up lines in history, considering what said Brady did after that was uttered. You love to see it.
 

rslm

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Bill's next move - trades Michael Bennett for a 3 that ends up being within ten slots of the 2 he just traded away.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Love the fit for the offense. Sanu is fantastic after the catch if you hit him in stride on slants and crosses. Phil D, late stage Edelman, and Meyers are all more possession type receivers, so Sanu is really bringing something useful to the table here.
 

joe dokes

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Love the fit for the offense. Sanu is fantastic after the catch if you hit him in stride on slants and crosses. Phil D, late stage Edelman, and Meyers are all more possession type receivers, so Sanu is really bringing something useful to the table here.
And Sanu might be a better passer than Edelman
 

BigSoxFan

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"They got Tom Brady though" is one of the greatest mic'ed up lines in history, considering what said Brady did after that was uttered. You love to see it.
And Muhsin Muhammad said it in SB38 way back when as well. Dude is universally feared.
 

Soxy

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And while Chad Jackson wound up a massive bust, it’s unfair to lump him in, given the fact that the pick was universally heralded as great value there. That said, their erratic performance in round two is definitely a mitigating rationalization for me.
The Jackson pick was also infamous because Belichick ignored the advice of his scouts, who told him that Jackson had a questionable make-up. Instead, Belichick listened to his buddy Urban Meyer, and took Jackson anyways. Scouts turned out to be right on that one.

I always think of Belichick's quote about second round picks generally being first round caliber talents, except there's always a "But..." in there somewhere. If they didn't have warts, they'd be gone before the second round.
 

lexrageorge

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Also consider that Josh Gordon will be UFA after this season. If he gets through the season cleanly, he will probably have a market, and the Pats may have difficulty keeping him given the number of free agents the team will have to resign or replace. Dorsett is also a UFA, and Edelman will be 34. If Meyers and Harry impress as the season goes on, their WR depth in 2020 looks solid. If not, then Sanu will still be a key piece of the puzzle next year.

Seems like a good use of a 2nd round pick.
 

Harry Hooper

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On that play last night near the sideline where Edelman was wrestled down via a bear hug, it seemed obvious his rib injury was causing him major discomfort.
 

BaseballJones

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Sanu has 33 receptions in 42 targets, for a super high 78.6% reception rate. That should play well with Brady.
 

NomarsFool

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Watching the Jets game last night, I really felt like the Pats were missing options on offense. I'm excited about this move, as I think it increases the chances of another Super Bowl win. I know we've become used to dominance here in New England, but the reality is that you need to go for it in years where you have a chance. Who knows what happens next season?
 

OurF'ingCity

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Also consider that Josh Gordon will be UFA after this season. If he gets through the season cleanly, he will probably have a market, and the Pats may have difficulty keeping him given the number of free agents the team will have to resign or replace. Dorsett is also a UFA, and Edelman will be 34. If Meyers and Harry impress as the season goes on, their WR depth in 2020 looks solid. If not, then Sanu will still be a key piece of the puzzle next year.

Seems like a good use of a 2nd round pick.
Exactly - I think people are underestimating the value the Pats put on the second year of control. The Dorsett trade was obviously different in many ways, but it's instructive insofar as some were similarly confused about that trade and saw Dorsett as largely redundant/lower in the depth chart to guys like Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. But, of course, Mitchell kept getting hurt and Hogan left in free agency and now Dorsett is a pretty key piece of the WR corps. Sanu is better than Dorsett was when he came to the Pats but the point is the Pats smartly tend to make their trades with both short-term and longer-term in mind, as any team should.
 

Reverend

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So we just gave up Cyrus Jones/Duke Dawson/Tavon Wilson/Jordan Richards/Aaron Dobson for Mohammad Sanu. I'm fine with that. Better than giving up James White/Trey Flowers/Shaq Mason/Malcolm Mitchell/Jarrett Stidham later on in the draft.
Wow.

Even with the additions mentioned, this is something.
Jimmy G?

Vereen and Vollmer, too.

Overall, though, yeah. Two of them are dead, for God’s sake!
Cross them off then.
And while Chad Jackson wound up a massive bust, it’s unfair to lump him in, given the fact that the pick was universally heralded as great value there. That said, their erratic performance in round two is definitely a mitigating rationalization for me.
How did everyone miss that he was dumb as a stump?
 

PedroKsBambino

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It’s probably just coincidence and an oddity, but the Pats now have three WR who played some college qb.

Any chance they’ve assessed their long term challengea getting wr for their system and concluded that football intelligence is uniquely important to adaptation to Brady’s needs?
 

Harry Hooper

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Josh is drooling over a couple of quadruple pass plays he's cooked up.
 

singaporesoxfan

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**: Butler was a hit career wise, as he had some decent seasons as a rotational DB for Indy. He just didn't do much for NE. But what makes this a big miss is that the 1st round pick the Pats traded out to get him turned into Clay Matthews.
I agree with your general point that 2nd round picks for the Patriots have been middling, but Darius Butler for Clay Matthews isn't quite the whole story of that specific pick.

In 2009, the Pats had 1st round pick #23 as a result of Brady missing most of 2008, leading to them going 11-5 but missing the playoffs. That pick was traded to Baltimore for #26 and #162. Ravens got Michael Oher with that pick, so good value for them.

#26 and #162 were in turn traded to Green Bay for a 2nd (#41) and two 3rd round picks (#73 and #83). Green Bay took Matthews - great value - and Patriots took Butler (and Brandon Tate with #83). That still leaves #73.

#73 was then traded to Jacksonville for a 2010 2nd and a 2009 7th, pick #232. At #232, the Pats took some guy named Julian Edelman.

And then when 2010 rolls around, the 2010 2nd round pick from the Jags is now pick #44. The Patriots decide to take that and throw in a 6th round pick (#190) to Oakland for pick #42, which they proceed to use to select Rob Gronkowski.

So yes, the Pats traded out the 1st round pick that was Clay Matthews to get Darius Butler, but they also got Edelman and Gronkowski out of that same trade.

TL/DR:
If you just look at the Packers/Patriots part of those trades, it turned out to be:
Green Bay got: Clay Matthews, Jamon Meredith
New England got: Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski (and lost a pick #190 to the Raiders)
 
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Reverend

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Also consider that Josh Gordon will be UFA after this season. If he gets through the season cleanly, he will probably have a market, and the Pats may have difficulty keeping him given the number of free agents the team will have to resign or replace. Dorsett is also a UFA, and Edelman will be 34. If Meyers and Harry impress as the season goes on, their WR depth in 2020 looks solid. If not, then Sanu will still be a key piece of the puzzle next year.

Seems like a good use of a 2nd round pick.
If Gordon makes it through the season, he may decide e has not monetary reasons to stay—assuming a fair offer, of course.
Watching the Jets game last night, I really felt like the Pats were missing options on offense. I'm excited about this move, as I think it increases the chances of another Super Bowl win. I know we've become used to dominance here in New England, but the reality is that you need to go for it in years where you have a chance. Who knows what happens next season?
Yup. Just because you have six doesn’t mean you don’t take seriously a real shot at the championship.

It would suck to be one injury away.
 

Reverend

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I agree with your general point that 2nd round picks for the Patriots have been middling, but Darius Butler for Clay Matthews isn't quite the whole story of that specific pick.

In 2009, the Pats had 1st round pick #23 as a result of Brady missing most of 2008, leading to them going 11-5 but missing the playoffs. That pick was traded to Baltimore for #26 and #162. Ravens got Michael Oher with that pick, so good value for them.

#26 and #162 were in turn traded to Green Bay for a 2nd (#41) and two 3rd round picks (#73 and #83). Green Bay took Matthews - great value - and Patriots took Butler (and Brandon Tate with #83). That still leaves #73.

#73 was then traded to Jacksonville for a 2010 2nd and a 2009 7th, pick #232. At #232, the Pats took some guy named Julian Edelman.

And then when 2010 rolls around, the 2010 2nd round pick from the Jags is now pick #44. The Patriots decide to take that and throw in a 6th round pick (#190) to Oakland for pick #42, which they proceed to use to select Rob Gronkowski.

So yes, the Pats traded out the 1st round pick that was Clay Matthews to get Darius Butler, but they also got Edelman and Gronkowski out of that same trade.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I originally had some question of how this will impact the offense given that Sanu is primarily a slot receiver, which is a spot that Edelman already occupies, but tracking down the numbers I could find it appears like my assumption may have been off.

Can anyone speak to the reliability of playerprofiler.com? They have Edelman as in the slot 43.2% this year (and only at 45.1% for last season), with Sanu at 77.5% and 62.3% for last year. Sanu's snap shares are 79.7% and 81.9% respectively, so this year he's been in the slot almost exclusively. A big part of that is probably having Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley as the outside receivers. I think I was more surprised by the low slot % numbers for Edelman.

Given these numbers, I have no doubt that McDaniels can make it all work. Sanu will probably spend more time in the slot than Edelman, but in the Patriots Offense we see extensive flexibility as receivers are required to know the playbook. It's already a short week with MNF, and the players have off today, so I'd expect snap counts for Sanu to be slightly lower than Antonio Brown (34%) and Josh Gordon(22%) in their respective debuts for New England.
 

lexrageorge

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If Gordon makes it through the season, he may decide e has not monetary reasons to stay—assuming a fair offer, of course.
The issue with Gordon is that it seems unlikely that the 2013 version of Gordon will return. He's been good this season, but far from that standard. And he'll be 29 next season, and any contract he signs will be for his 29-31 seasons.

It will be interesting to see how both sides approach this.
 

EL Jeffe

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If Atlanta reworked the contract to absorb most of the cap hit, the 2nd round price tag makes sense. I think Miguel has speculated this could be the case.

Also, I will say that Gordon has just been okay this year. He's very good after the catch (just ridiculously strong, great will/effort), but little-to-no separation in running routes; everything downfield is a contested catch. Sanu is a quicker player with better change of direction, so we'll see how he fares in the Patriots horizontal-based approach (I'm bullish).
 

InstaFace

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Draft picks get overrated. There are likely good odds that two years of a quality WR like Sanu is going to be more valuable then whomever they took at the end of the 2nd round.
2nd seems too high but gotta keep Brady happy. He's been miserable since AB left.
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that that 2nd rounder is somewhere in 60-64. I think the Pats at least making it to the AFCCG (sorry, the Belichick-Brady Invitational) is a fairly safe bet at this point. Let's look at the last 15 years of picks 60-64 excluding the most recent two years as not yet meaningful, a sample size of 65 players, and see what we're talking about.

Anecdotes:
- In 2017 you've got Juju Smith-Schuster at #62 (the first pro bowler, looking backwards)
- In 2016 you've got 1st Team All-Pro (1AP) TEN safety Kevin Byard doing well for them at 23 AV so far, and a couple other contributors
- In 2015 and 2014, you've got a few regular starters, obviously Garoppolo, and 4-time pro bowl WR Jarvis Landry. You also have some whose prime may be ahead of them, like Frank Clark
- 2013 had Travis Kelce (!), Eddie Lacy (out of the NFL since 2017), and old Brady friend Robert Alford
- The biggest names 2012 down to 2005 are Chargers WR Vincent Jackson (76), JAX RB Maurice Jones-Drew (72), Randall Cobb in 2011 (54), and Golden Tate (53).

Data:
- Out of those 65 names, the median player (#33 by CarAV) is Indy LB Pat Angerer, career AV 17 with a 4-year career from 2010-2013, 2 of them a starter. Above him is DET RB Kevin Smith (2 years a starter) and below him is Giants DB Terrell Thomas (also 2 years a starter, AV 17).
- 14 of the 65 (22%) made a pro bowl; only 4 of those have made first-team all-pro
- 15 of the 65 (20%) were not a starter in any year of their career, and another 20 (31%) were a starter for only 1-2 years. Two of them never appeared in an NFL game.

So overall, it looks like the probability distribution for the pick we gave up is roughly this:

20%: Never a contributor
30%: Minor contributor
30%: Regular starter, non-impact player
15%: Impact player, pro bowl level
5%: Star player, all-pro level

In exchange for shoring up a major area of need, I think that's acceptable value, particularly since Sanu's contract is so affordable ($3.8 this year, $6.5 next unless restructured). That's a lot of option value we're getting.

I rate this as a good to very-good trade, unless there's some present roster value we have to let go of for cap reasons.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Bill's next move - trades Michael Bennett for a 3 that ends up being within ten slots of the 2 he just traded away.
Projected next ten slots of the draft:
MIA
CIN
WAS
ATL
NYG
NYJ
TB
DEN
DEN

Which of these teams is giving up a 3 for Michael Bennett?