Sports Q: Was the price too steep for Mohamed Sanu?

Was a second-round draft pick too much for the former Falcons wide receiver?

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2019 file photo, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu pauses (12) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. A person within the NFL says the Atlanta Falcons have traded Sanu to the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick in 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu pauses during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals. –(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

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Was the price – a second-round pick – too steep for Mohamed Sanu?

I have to admit, my first reaction was surprise that the pick was that high. But was it too much?

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Not at all, because he’s what they need, and what a few other contenders needed too.

I like to compare Phillip Dorsett’s knack for big plays and efficiency to what David Patten provided the early Patriots dynasty teams. (Patten had more history of making huge plays, but Dorsett, who had a lovely 26-yard TD catch Monday night, is getting there.) Julian Edelman does all of the things that the godfather of Patriots slot receivers, Troy Brown, did in his heyday. I’ve said all year the Patriots needed a Deion Branch type to complement this flashback of a receivers group – but Deion Branch types are not exactly easy to come by, and if they were, the Patriots would have already hoarded them.

Well, Sanu is someone, as NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran pointed out, that has a skill-set similar to another receiver from the early years of the Patriots dynasty: David Givens. And if you wouldn’t trade a second-round pick to get Tom Brady someone who can do the things that David Givens did – remember, he scored a touchdown in seven straight playoff games – then I can only assume that you’ve been a fan of this franchise for merely the second part of this dynasty. You missed some good stuff.

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Sanu is a very good player who rarely drops the ball, is a force out of the slot (Edelman is 33 and could use a workload reduction given how crucial he is to the Patriots’ success), and can get open on several different short and intermediate routes. He makes them much, much better in an area of obvious need, and he’s signed through next season.

A second-round pick is a lot to give up, sure, and I don’t care that Bill Belichick has whiffed on an XFL roster’s worth of cornerbacks and receivers in that round over the years. The draft has different talent levels every year, and the misses are more coincidental than an indictment of their drafting. Playing in the NFL is hard. Staying healthy is hard. Relatively high picks fail all the time. And the Patriots have had home runs in that round too. I mean, Rob Gronkowski and Jamie Collins were second-round picks. We have no idea how the pick would have fared with the Patriots had they kept it and made it.

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But, this is a needed player – and one that was apparently coveted by other teams, such as the Niners. The Patriots paid a price to get someone who can help them win a seventh Super Bowl. The price wasn’t steep for Mohamed Sanu. It was fair.

But what does everyone else think? I’ll hear you in the comments.