Leading up to the NFL Draft, wide receiver was a known need for the New Orleans Saints. By remaining at #47, the Saints filled that need with Michael Thomas, a big possession receiver from Ohio State. Now that the pick is in, lets review the facts about the newest New Orleans Saint!
Fun Fact - Michael Thomas is the nephew of former NFL WR Keyshawn Johnson!
Tale of the Tape: 6'3", 212-pounds
Here are his Strengths:
(NFL.com) - Has the triangle numbers (height/weight/speed) of a WR1. Drives off the line of scrimmage selling his vertical push and forcing cornerbacks into passive position. Uses plus separation quickness at top of his route to provide comfortable passing window. Hands catcher who catches away from his frame when possible. Has the juice after catch to make defenses pay the price for missed tackles. Real red zone target who stacks the defender, tracks throw out of quarterback's hand and makes late play on the ball over top of defender.
(CBSSports.com) - Strategic route-runner and very deliberate in his patterns, using his footwork to get defenders leaning and commit their hips. Athletic toe-tapper along the sidelines. Strong strides to accelerate and pick up speed as he goes. Determined leaper to high-point. Reliable production the past two seasons despite limited opportunities.
Here are his Weaknesses:
(NFL.com) - Struggles with footwork out of press release spending excessive time trying to fake and shake cornerbacks. Still figuring out this whole "route running" thing. (Contradicts CBS' plus in the route-running category.) Needs to improve playing through contact and adjusting routes appropriately. Still thinking rather than just playing.Won't go looking for work as run blocker if he doesn't have to. (This will need to change with the Saints.)
(CBSSports.com) - Lacks above average start/stop athleticism to easily create outside of the route. Cornerbacks can match his burst and vertical speed, limiting his ability to consistently separate. Mechanical at times in his movements, lacking ideal lower body fluidity. Strong hands, but will have some focus drops, thinking too much about his surroundings. Good pop as a blocker, but doesn't consistently sustain. (This could be a problem) Wasn't asked to run a diverse route tree in Ohio State's offense.
Current NFL Comparison: Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings and Reuben Randle, WR, New York Giants
Saints Roster at Wide Receiver (according to NewOrleansSaints.com):
Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, Brandon Coleman, Reggie Bell, R.J. Harris, Kyle Prater, & Shane Wynn
Over the last three seasons, the Saints have collected a few quality receivers, will Michael Thomas complete the set and provide the missing receiver link? Sean Payton now has a speed guy (Cooks), a reliable guy (Snead), and a possession guy (Thomas) plus Coby Fleener - he just might be onto something again!
Saints 2016 NFL Draft Picks
|1||12||12||Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville|
|2||16||47||Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio St.|
|2||30||61||Vonn Bell, S, Ohio St.|
Saints Team Needs
- Defensive End
Wide Receiver Defensive Back
Saints Draft Resources
- Saints NFL Draft Headquarters
- CSC Community Big Board
- Saints Mock Draft Database
- CSC Community Mock Draft
NFL Draft Schedule
Saturday, April 30 - 11 a.m. CT (Rounds 4-6 - 5 Minutes Per Pick, Round 7 - 4 Minutes Per Pick)
NFL Network and ESPN/ESPN2 will televise the draft.
Live Draft Tracker