Some key wide receiver dominoes fell Tuesday, and the 49ers were involved in both. Prior to acquiring Emmanuel Sanders from the Broncos, the 49ers were “heavily” in on Mohamed Sanu, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic (subscription required).
The Patriots ended up outbidding the 49ers for the Falcon wideout, sending a second-round pick to Atlanta. San Francisco already unloaded its 2020 second-rounder, sending it to Kansas City for Dee Ford in March. Sanu is 30 and signed through 2020; Sanders is 32 and in a contract year.
While Sanders has accomplished more than Sanu, it’s understandable why the 49ers pursued the latter. Sanu’s first Atlanta season came when Kyle Shanahan was running a historically great Falcons offense, which led the team to Super Bowl LI. The third-year 49ers HC was seeking a “big-bodied” wideout in the offseason, per Barrows. Sanu would have filled that role better than Sanders, who ended up costing the 49ers 2020 third- and fourth-round picks.
San Francisco is now without second-, third- and fourth-round picks in next year’s draft. But the 49ers exited Week 7 with their leading wide receiver (Marquise Goodwin) having totaled 181 receiving yards. Sanders, who has 367, should be able to assimilate quickly after playing in ex-49er OC Rich Scangarello‘s offense.
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