Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu looked terrible in drills at latest practice.
The New England Patriots really struggled to get production out of their wide receiving corps last season. Outside of Julian Edelman, who logged 100 receptions for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns, no wideout totaled more than 26 receptions and 400 yards.
What really speaks volumes about the issue is the fact that James White finished as the team’s second-leading receiver. That’s not a dig at the former fourth-round pick, either. A running back just shouldn’t be as relied as heavily in the passing game as he was in 2019.
The Patriots likely thought they bolstered the WR position by trading for Mohamed Sanu in exchange for a second-round pick at last year’s deadline. However, it quickly became clear that New England was fleeced in that deal.
Though injuries clearly slowed him down, there’s no denying that Sanu looked as if he didn’t fit in the offense, compiling 26 receptions for 207 yards across eight games. The franchise surprisingly opted against cutting the 31-year-old vet this offseason, and the latest highlights from training camp indicate that may have been a mistake. Check out how off the pace he looks compared to the likes of Edelman and Gunner Olszewski:
What on earth did we just watch? Not only did Sanu’s footwork look markedly slower than that of his teammates, but the cut at the top of his route was the definition of unpolished. To make matters worse, he dropped what can only be described as a routine pass.
The Rutgers product drew the ire of Patriots fans for his questionable route-running last year, and it looks like he’s picking up right where he left off last campaign. However, that issue was supposed to be fixed this offseason after he underwent surgery on his injured ankle. Why hasn’t that changed anything?
It hasn’t been all bad for Sanu during training camp, but we’re going to need to see a lot more from him to be convinced that he deserves the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Edelman.
If there’s one thing we know about the Patriots, it’s that players have to earn their starting roles — look no further than Cam Newton still not being named QB1 — and the former third-round pick still has more to prove with the start of the regular season less than three weeks away.