In trading Mohamed Sanu, the Falcons parted ways with a well-liked veteran and productive player, which is hardly ideal even in a down year. The return, however, looked like a major coup for GM Thomas Dimitroff and the front office, given that the Patriots handed over a second round pick in the trade.
After the Patriots stunningly lost to the Titans late last night—the product of a hyper-inept offense that remains unbelievable given that the Patriots always find a way to win—the Falcons’ pick will be better than expected. UPDATE: With the Saints also losing, Atlanta’s locked into #55. Wonderful!
They already have the 16th selection in the first round and (I believe, math is not my strong suit) the 47th selection in the second round, as well, giving them quite a bit of firepower in the early going.
Dimitroff earns his fair share of abuse in the fanbase, but you have to give credit where it’s due. He drafted a player who looks like a high-end starter in Chris Lindstrom, brought in a pair of compelling rookie defenders in Kendall Sheffield and John Cominsky, and absolutely ripped the Patriots off with the Sanu swap, all of which is undoubtedly part of the reason he’s still here.
Sanu, who was at worst a productive possession-type receiver while in Atlanta, basically cratered when he got to New England. In nine games including the playoffs, he was targeted 52 times, caught 27 balls for 218 yards, and scored a single touchdown while averaging just over 8 yards per reception. The pick six that sealed the game for the Titans last night also went off his hands, potentially ending the current incarnation of the Patriots in the process. The Pats offense being anemic can be laid at the feet of a slumping Brady, weird play calling, and awful personnel overall, but Sanu certainly didn’t help the Patriots win many games.
The Falcons will probably keep an eye out to see if he winds up being available again this offseason, but either way, they’re now comfortably set up to gain three quality players in the first two rounds or trade up for someone they really want. Not a bad weekend considering they’re home on the couch.