What Mohamed Sanu brings to the Patriots offense

Mohamed Sanu had a career year in 2018.
Mohamed Sanu had a career year in 2018.Rick Scuteri/AP/FR157181 AP via AP

Mohamed Sanu has never made a Pro Bowl in eight seasons, and he’s probably not going to be enshrined in Canton. But Sanu brings important size and depth to a Patriots’ receiving corps that has been a little thin in recent weeks, and is a standout athlete who gives the Patriots some trick-play ability.

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Sanu, in his eighth year out of Rutgers (of course), gives the Patriots some much-needed size at receiver. Sanu is listed at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, and is more of a possession receiver than a deep threat -- for the Falcons, Sanu played mostly out of the slot while Julio Jones and others played on the outside.


“Yeah, I definitely see myself as unique in that regard,” Sanu told the Falcons’ website in 2018. “I move differently. I move a lot faster and quicker than people think. When I get the ball in my hands, I’m very hard to tackle. A linebacker isn’t going to just flat-out maul me because I’m big. And a DB isn’t going to out-quick me because I can move, too. It’s tough.”

He has 25 touchdown catches and averaged 11.4 yards per catch in his career with the Bengals and Falcons, and is coming off a career year in 2018, with 66 catches for 838 yards and four touchdowns.

Sanu had trouble with drops in 2017, finishing with six on the season, but he had just one drop in 94 targets last year and no drops on 42 targets this year.

Sanu also is a tremendous athlete. A triple option quarterback in high school, he has 40 rushes for 215 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL career. He also has a great throwing arm, completing 7 of 8 passes for 233 yards and four touchdown passes in his career. Sanu has thrown touchdown passes of 50, 51 and 73 yards, and will be a great chess piece for Josh McDaniels on jet sweeps and trick plays.


Sanu, 30, should factor immediately into the Patriots’ offense, especially with Josh Gordon dealing with a knee injury. Sanu will likely take some of the opportunities away from undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, though Meyers played well against the Jets on Monday, catching four passes for 43 yards.

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Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin