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Why Tennessee’s Cedric Tillman could be the next Michael Thomas

Thomas is almost an identical pro comp for Tillman.

TransPerfect Music City Bowl - Purdue v Tennessee Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

As I was doing some general reconnaissance of player that I think the New Orleans Saints should target in this year's draft class, I came across a name that has been catching a lot of buzz lately.

Tennessee Vol receiver Cedric Tillman.

I had never actually watched any of Tillman’s film surprisingly as I did the majority of this year's class, so I decided to give him a look.

Immediately, I saw a receiver with a big frame who embraces the physicality aspect of the game whether it be at the catch point or fighting for yards after the catch. I also saw a guy who is very quick and aggressive off the line of scrimmage (can make DBs indecisive). And also, one that can run just about every route in the route tree.

I couldn’t help but see resemblance of the Saints former Offensive Player of the Year who goes by the name of Michael Thomas.

So, I decided to put some clips together to display these comparisons.

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images and Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Here are two examples of Thomas and Tillman working at the line to create separation on a slant route. They each engage in a similar movement by convincingly working the DB to the outside and using their hands to swipe across to create cushion.

Here’s an inside fade concept that they each are familiar with. Both displaying great body control and maintaining possession through the catch point.

And lastly, the ability to make those contested catches when you need them to.

Tillman also has the ability to run by defenders as he did in a vertical Tennessee offense.

The unique part about it was that I hadn’t even seen Tillman’s measurables yet to even make that comparison. So, I took a look once I had finished watching and was astounded.

The two are almost completely identical.

Tillman is also expected to go in around the same range as Thomas in this year's draft making the comparison even closer.

I will not make the mistake of stating that Tillman is in fact the next Michael Thomas but in seeing a multitude of similarities not only in their game but in their total build, gives me enough reason to think that Tillman could very well be the answer for the Saints to not only play along Thomas, but to eventually replace him.

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