New England has been looking for a few players on the offensive side of the ball to help sure up the passing game and Sanu, a former college quarterback, gives them the tertiary receiving New England has been looking for.
Through six games, outside threat Josh Gordon wasn’t as effective as New England hoped and Antonio Brown lasted less than two weeks. Acquiring Sanu adds some stability with a team-first guy under team control through 2020, but how does it affect the depth chart?
No change at the top here for New England. Edelman will still receive the bulk of the touches in the receiving game and as a slot guy, he’s expected to carry a hefty workload.
Edelman shines in this role and despite playing through a chest injury has still managed to put up big numbers for New England. He might see his catches go down slightly as players like James White and Rex Burkhead get more involved, but overall the WR1 position is locked up for Edelman.
This year, Dorsett has gained the trust of Tom Brady more than in his previous two seasons with New England. He already has four touchdown catches and showed he could recover quickly from injury in Week 7.
Dorsett has the ability to shed a defender quickly, doing so on his Week 7 touchdown grab in tight coverage. His hands and field awareness also make him a viable target on quick outs that Brady can rely on during a two-minute offense.
The newest Patriots receiver slots into third on the depth chart for the time being. With uncertainty over how serious Josh Gordon’s injury truly is, Sanu will take a big step as Brady’s third downfield option.
But Sanu has played with quality quarterbacks in the past, occupying some of Andy Dalton’s best years in Cincinnati and recently connecting with Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Sanu also shows great versatility, similar to that of Dorsett, in his route running and discipline along the sidelines. He may never be a 1,000-yard receiver, but he does have an ability to make impact plays.
Normally, this would be flipped but Gordon is still out with a knee injury. Although it isn’t considered serious, there’s no timetable on a possible return and New England couldn’t afford to wait longer.
Gordon hasn’t been as productive as New England may have hoped this season, only reeling in one touchdown catch — the Patriots’ first of the year back in Week 1.
If fully healthy, he for sure hops above Sanu on the depth chart. But right now, he remains out of commission until further notice.
Part of the reason this move is so surprising was New England’s recent decision to activate their first-round draft pick, Harry. By bringing in Sanu, the Patriots basically allow Harry to have a bit of a learning and adjusting period for this season before he truly steps into a primary role next year.
Harry will likely take the place of Gordon when he comes off injured reserve following a Week 9 contest with the Ravens. It will be just as big to have Harry back as well, who is a tough receiver to cover in open field.
This is a tough one to swallow for Meyers who really seemed like he was coming into his own and building a strong rapport with Brady. Much like when Antonio Brown arrived, Meyers could be headed toward a role as an inactive.
Back to strictly punt-return duties for Olszewski, who showed good ability as a receiver. You never would have known he was just a defensive back at Division II Bemidji State last year.