WR Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons

HT: 6-2, WT: 211, Born: 8-22-1989, College: Rutgers, Drafted: Round 3

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2014 Projections

David Dodds16.04.0164.00.041.049212.04.075
Bob Henry16.05.0204.00.044.047010.74.074
Jason Wood16.
Maurile Tremblay16.

Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]

Overall: M Reece (253), B Bolden (254), Mohamed Sanu (255), J Randle (257)
Position: M Williams (243-WR80), J Brown (250-WR81), Mohamed Sanu (255 - WR82), A Robinson (262-WR83), D Moore (265-WR84)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

PPR Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]

Overall: B Brown (237), Mohamed Sanu (239), A Quarless (240), K Carey (241)
Position: J Cotchery (234-WR77), J Blackmon (235-WR78), Mohamed Sanu (239 - WR79), J Brown (244-WR80), A Holmes (245-WR81)
Click here for a comparison of these players.


When Mohamed Sanu was drafted in 2011, it appeared that he would be the player to shine opposite the all-everything A.J. Green. Sanuís versatility was attractive (he played some running back and wildcat quarterback in college), but his overall skills as a receiver left something to be desired. Sanu was passed by Marvin Jones last season. Sanu looks to be back in the second receiver role for at least the beginning of the season, though, as Jones broke his foot. Sanu has a chance to contribute for the first few weeks of the season.

2014 Schedule

1 New Orleans Saints
2at Cincinnati Bengals
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4at Minnesota Vikings
5at New York Giants
6 Chicago Bears
7at Baltimore Ravens
8 Detroit Lions
Bye week
10at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11at Carolina Panthers
12 Cleveland Browns
13 Arizona Cardinals
14at Green Bay Packers
15 Pittsburgh Steelers
16at New Orleans Saints
17 Carolina Panthers

2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - Sanu is a very physical receiver, and thatís how the Bengals tried to use him in the first game of the season. In the second quarter, Sanu got the ball on an out pattern, and then caught a WR screen, and used his physicality to pick up a first down. He then took a designed shovel pass right in front of Dalton, but the Bears snuffed it out and were all over it. His final reception came at the start of the fourth quarter, and really turned the game around. After an INT gave the Bengals great field position, Dalton hit Sanu on a short pass. Sanu entered the redzone, tried to fight forward for additional yardage, and fumbled the ball. The Bears promptly took it straight up the field and got the game-winning TD. At this point, you can see the deliberate attempt from Cincy to get Sanu the ball in short yardage situations and let him use his physical abilities to get yardage after the catch.

Week 2 - In the game telecast, Jon Gruden compared Mohamed Sanu to Marques Colston. While this flattery may have come directly from Grudenís brother, the Bengals have thus far been able to get the same type of production out of Sanu. In this game, despite getting a decent number of targets, all of Sanuís receptions were of the short yardage variety, with his longest reception being a simple WR screen that he was able to get 14 yards on. It was great to see LT Whitworth, who surprisingly was playing, blow up safety Ryan Clark on that aforementioned screen pass.

One thing that will be worth looking at later this week on the 11 vs 11 coaching film is whether Sanu is open on many of the occasions when Dalton appears to force the ball to AJ Green. If Dalton is going to get the most production out of this offense, he needs to trust Sanu. Sanu appears to have talent, but thus far has only been able to do the majority of his damage in short yardage situations.

Week 3 - Sanu played hard, tough and physical in possibly his best game of the young 2013 season. He started the game with a simple reception on an out pattern, that he turned into a 32 yard gain that setup the first TD. Breaking that initial tackle is what Sanu does best and the Bengals are doing a better and better job of getting him into a position to get yards after the catch.

In the first drive of the second half, Dalton hit Sanu on a slant pass and then Sanu ran like a freight train upfield, getting 23 yards and dragging defenders with him. This play needs to get dialed up more often, as Sanu is just too physical for most corners.

Unfortunately for Sanu later in that drive, he dropped a key 3rd down pass, although he likely would have been unable to get the first anyway.

Sanu is still a second year receiver, and the Bengals are still figuring out the strengths of each receiver. Sanu is going to be a big part of the offense, and although the TDís arenít coming yet, they will. Heís too physical for them not to.

Week 4 - Sanu had a quiet day. He had 2 early catches, both for first downs. First, he took a short outlet pass on 3rd and short, and burst through two defenders for the first. Then Dalton fired a rocket on a slant pass to Sanu, who made a great catch with his hands and got another first down. Sanu drew a pass interference call as well. After exploding past two defenders who bit on the flea flicker, Sanu was wide open down the middle of the field. Dalton hung the ball in the air, however, and Sanu was unable to score. The PI call was nice, but didnít lead to a touchdown. A better pass, and the entire game would have changed right there. Due to the physical presence of Haden, you would think Sanu would have been in the gameplan a bit more, but at this point, he doesnít appear to be a primary option.

Week 5 - Sanu hasnít become the second option that many thought he would become. With the dual TEís, with AJ Green, and with the two-headed running back, there just donít seem to be enough targets for Sanu to show off his talent. He was only really looked at a couple of times, one being a nice move to get a quick pass between the LB and the safety. Sanu then used his physical skills to get 17 yards. But otherwise, it was a quiet day for Sanu.

Week 6 - Sanuís physical nature was apparent on a second quarter screen pass. He took the ball, went upfield and laid his shoulder into the defender, knocking his helmet off. That physical ability fires up an offense. In the second half, Sanu took a screen pass, got around the defender thanks to a great block by Jones, and got a 12 yard first down. Then later on in the quarter, he took a quick pass from Dalton out on the sideline, used a stiff-arm and drove the defender 5 yards downfield for an impressive 14 yard gain. Sanu and Marvin Jones are both young, physical receivers who are improving week-to-week. While neither have a whole lot of value at this time, if one of them gets injured, the other could take a big leap in value. For now though, they are just growing and continuing to learn the offense and get involved.

Week 7 - Sanu had only one catch on the day. He went across the middle on 3rd and long, and caught a 12 yard slant pass. Sanu was on the field far more than Jones, and is a very good blocker. But the heavy usage of Green and Jones early, and of the two tight ends later on in the game, led to a poor game for Sanu. This offense has so many weapons, that this is bound to happen to everyone from time to time. That being said, a year ago, Sanu looked like a lock to develop into the second weapon for Dalton. Now with Eifert, Bernard and the emergence of Jones, the targets are getting spread around a lot, and Sanu has yet to have a really big game. At this point, heís just a role player, though he still has very good skills and could still be a solid number 2 WR for the Bengals.

Week 8 - Sanu may have lost his hold on the starting job for a couple reasons. Obviously, the amazing day by Jones is one reason. But it just seems like for whatever reason, Dalton and Sanu arenít on the same page. In the first half, Dalton threw a deep ball to Sanu, and Sanu just couldnít haul it in. A clean catch would have been a TD. Sanu made amends by drawing a pass interference on the same drive, though it seemed to be a questionable call. Later in the game, Sanu did get deep for a 24 yard gain on a lob over the cornerbackís head. But that was his only reception. Jones seems faster out of his breaks, and Jones is gaining Daltonís confidence. Sanuís days as the number 2 should be over.

Week 9 - Sanu had a usual assortment of short catches, slant passes and short out patterns, but continued his year-long drought in the ďbig playĒ department. Sanuís most egregious error came in the 2nd half when Dalton fired a ball between two defenders into Sanuís hands. Sanu got his hands on the ball, but couldnít haul it in, and it popped straight in the air and was intercepted. Then in overtime, the Bengals faced 2nd down and were trying to get in position for a field goal. Sanu dropped an easy sideline pass that would have put the Bengals in field goal range for Nugent. So while Sanu did get a number of short catches, and while he even stretched one slant pass for a 21 yard first down, it is the mistakes at the end of the game that put a sour taste in your mouth for Sanu. That being said, heís still on the field and still getting looks, so he still can be a decent option in ppr.

Week 10 - Sanu had a nice first down catch in the first quarter, and was quiet after that, aside from one or two short receptions. Sanu has become an adequate possession receiver, but seems to have lost the knack for redzone scoring that he had a year ago. On one occasion, Dalton threw it deep to the pylon as Sanu has single coverage. However, Ladarius Webb completely manhandled Sanu, and Sanu was unable to come up with the ball. If heís going to gain Daltonís trust, he needs to come up with balls like this.

Week 11 - Sanu finally got a redzone look, jumping high in the air in the corner of the endzone and snagging a short TD. This was a very popular play for the Bengals in 2012, but thus far in 2013, Sanu hasn't received many redzone looks. Sanu also got in the stat sheet as a QB. Dalton threw a long lateral across the field to Sanu, and Sanu made a nice 25 yard throw to Giovani Bernard down the right sideline, showcasing that surprising arm.

Week 13 - Sanuís only reception came on a screen pass earlier in the game. The emergence of Hawkins is eating into Sanuís playing time.

Week 14 - Sanu caught two slant passes on quick strikes from Dalton. Dalton also tried to hit him on a fade route at the sideline in the endzone, but Sanu was unable to keep both feet in bounds. Sanu is a cog in the machine, but isnít likely to be one of the major playmakers for this offense anytime soon.

Week 15 - Sanu had a few short receptions in the game. Sanu has basically become a seldom-used possession receiver. His passes are almost always short screens or quick slants, and although he has tremendous physicality, heís just unable to get open downfield for receptions of any length.

Week 16 - Sanu has also found his role, as that of a short yardage, possession receiver. While that role wonít put him on a lot of fantasy rosters, itís very helpful for Cincy. All four of his short catches went for first downs or touchdowns. He knows how to find the chains and get open. His 7 yard TD in the third quarter was a back shoulder throw, and Sanu waited until precisely the right moment to make a play on the ball, easily turning around, catching the ball and walking into the endzone.

Week 17 - Sanu is tough and physical, but is struggling to get targets in this offense. The return of Andrew Hawkins has even further made this tough. Sanu had one catch for a first down, but aside from that rarely saw any targets.

Week 18 - Sanu is just an after-thought on this offense. He had a 13 yard gain over the middle for a first down, but other than that wasnít a factor.