New Orleans Saints second year wideout Michael Thomas is obviously great for so many reasons. Quarterback Drew Brees is a first ballot Hall of Famer. So it should be no surprise then that the Brees-to-Thomas connection was one of the most productive duos in the NFL last season.
Drew Brees has made a habit of taking almost any wide receiver the Saints roll out for him and turning him into a productive player. However, in Michael Thomas, Brees has found a complement that will more than meet him halfway. Since being selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Thomas has done everything in his power to cement himself as an elite wideout. He took over as the unquestioned No. 1 receiver this year, with Brandin Cooks being traded from New Orleans to New England in the offseason, and Thomas was every bit up to the task. The 24-year-old led all wide receivers with at least 25 total targets with a 72 percent catch rate vs. press coverage. Brees and Thomas saved their best work for the Wild Card Round, where Thomas carved through the Panthers’ secondary with ease (eight catches for 131 yards). He needs to be in the conversation about the top five players at the wide receiver position.
Yes, after Brandin Cooks was traded to the New England Patriots, Thomas became the Saints #1 Wide Receiver, and he absolutely played like one. Speaking of that Brandin Cooks fellow... even with arguably the GOAT QB Tom Brady throwing him the ball, the Brady-to-Cooks duo only came in as an honorable mention for 2017.
Across the NFC South, the Jameis Winston-to-Mike Evans combination failed to crack the list, while Matt Ryan-to-Julio Jones barely made the list at ninth overall. For those wondering, Ben Roethlisberger-to-Antonio Brown and Philip Rivers-to-Keenan Allen were the only two ahead of the Saints pair.