Patriots

Pats could've drafted these WRs with pick from Sanu trade

Patriots

The New England Patriots are releasing veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, which closes the book on one of the team's worst trades in recent years.

The Patriots gave up a 2020 second round draft pick to acquire Sanu in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons last October. It was a steep price to pay, but the Patriots offense was in dire need of a wide receiver upgrade after Antonio Brown's release and with rookie N'Keal Harry battling injury.

Sanu played eight games for the Patriots and tallied just 26 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown. An ankle injury suffered in a Week 11 win against the Philadelphia Eagles -- his third game with the Patriots -- limited his effectiveness for the remainder of the 2019 season.

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Wide receiver remains a problem area on New England's depth chart.

Sanu's release leaves Julian Edelman as the only dependable target. Edelman is one of the best wideouts in the league, but he's also 34 years old and dealt with multiple injuries last season. Outside of Harry, who wasn't able to stay healthy as a rookie, there aren't any young receivers on the roster that generate much excitement.

The Patriots could've addressed their lack of talented, young wideouts in the draft had they kept the second-round pick sent to Atlanta to acquire Sanu.

Here's a list of wide receivers the Patriots would've been able to select with the 55th overall pick in the 2020 draft.

 

Denzel Mims, Baylor

Van Jefferson, Ole Miss

Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

Devin Duvernay, Texas

Jefferson would've been an intriguing fit in New England. He starred at Florida and was drafted 57th overall by the Los Angeles Rams.

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Mims was the best wideout still on the board at pick No. 55. He played very well at Baylor and was one of the fastest players (4.38 40-time at the Scouting Combine) in the entire 2020 draft class. Mims also has good size at 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds, which he uses to his advantage to make tough catches in traffic. The New York Jets took him at No. 59 in the second round. 

The Patriots, despite needing more talent and depth at wide receiver, didn't select a single player at the position in the 2020 draft, even though that class of WRs was labeled by experts as one of the best in recent years.

It was a decision we might look back on at some point -- maybe even after the 2020 season -- and view as a mistake.