How good was Michael Thomas? This Good...

BoNcHiE

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We know the top line numbers are excellent for anyone, much less a rookie.

92 receptions (on 122 targets), 1137 yards, and a whopping 9 TDs...in 15 games with another two that he was limited in. We know he passes every part of the eyeball test. Big, physical, fast, and is just at home catching a deep ball as he is a taking a slant for a first down.

But Football Outsiders gives an idea of just how high his ceiling is, forgoing total yard comparisons and instead using advanced analytics to come up with rankings that measure total efficiency and skill in a given situation, adjusted for opponents. First the breakdown of what they are doing. Then the rankings.

Wide receivers are ranked according to DYAR, or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement. This gives the value of the performance on plays where this WR caught the ball, compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then translated into yardage. DYAR (and its cousin, YAR, which isn't adjusted based on opponent) is further explained here.

The other statistic given is DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. This number represents value, per play, over an average WR in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player's performance. DVOA (and its cousin, VOA, which isn't adjusted based on opponent) is further explained here.

The simple version: DYAR means a wide receiver with more total value. DVOA means a wide receiver with more value per play.

Effective Yards, listed in red, translate DVOA into a yards per attempt figure. This provides an easy comparison: in general, players with more Effective Yards than standard yards played better than standard stats would otherwise indicate, while players with fewer Effective Yards than standard yards played worse than standard stats would otherwise indicate. Effective Yards are not the best way to measure total value because they are more dependent on usage than DYAR.

Michael Thomas ranks #2 in DYAR. The only WR above him is Julio Jones. His effective yards are pegged at 1,425 (2nd only to Jones at 1,515).

His catch rate of 76% was the best in the league of any WRs ranked (must have over 50 passes).

The projections and efficiency say we could very well have the next Julio Jones on our hands. It's not even a matter of him "getting better." Even at his current skill level, simply giving him more opportunities will result in top 5 WR production. But what if he does get better? Scary thought for opposing defenses.

(FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | WIDE RECEIVERS 2016)
 

efil4stnias

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We know the top line numbers are excellent for anyone, much less a rookie.

92 receptions (on 122 targets), 1137 yards, and a whopping 9 TDs...in 15 games with another two that he was limited in. We know he passes every part of the eyeball test. Big, physical, fast, and is just at home catching a deep ball as he is a taking a slant for a first down.

But Football Outsiders gives an idea of just how high his ceiling is, forgoing total yard comparisons and instead using advanced analytics to come up with rankings that measure total efficiency and skill in a given situation, adjusted for opponents. First the breakdown of what they are doing. Then the rankings.



Michael Thomas ranks #2 in DYAR. The only WR above him is Julio Jones. His effective yards are pegged at 1,425 (2nd only to Jones at 1,515).

His catch rate of 76% was the best in the league of any WRs ranked (must have over 50 passes).

The projections and efficiency say we could very well have the next Julio Jones on our hands. It's not even a matter of him "getting better." Even at his current skill level, simply giving him more opportunities will result in top 5 WR production. But what if he does get better? Scary thought for opposing defenses.
That's a HIT of pretty epic proportions for the scouting staff.



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Spoozer

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Without a doubt he will get better too. He turned out to be a fantastic pick.
 
OP
BoNcHiE

BoNcHiE

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BTW, Brandin Cooks also ranks fairly high.
 

jesusfish

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This draft I will have to remember that I was disappointed when we selected him. I mean, he's just scratching the surface of what he could become.
 

daybreaker

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I was pretty excited we drafted him since Colston was obviously on the way out, and Coleman wasnt looking like the answer we had all hoped.
 

football

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Thomas can be pound for pound the best physical wide receiver we have ever had. Eric Martin, to me was the toughest wide receiver I watched. He would take a good beating and had amazing hands. Just not fast or elusive enough. But Thomas can be that much more.
 

keefresh2

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I wanted the Saints to draft him, and then they actually did. That never happens, lol. So I was excited too.
I had a feeling he was the kind of guy Drew could really be effective with, but I didn't know he would end up as good as he is this soon. Once Brees started looking for him in the EZ about mid-way thru the season, I knew he had it all.
Fantastic draft pick in the 2nd.
 

Eman5805

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It was evident from just the way Brees was talking about Thomas back in mini-camp. That knowing, excited smile? Man, the sky is the limit.
 

TechDawg09

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That sounds like a pretty made up stat.. but we all know he's awesome :9:
 

Optimus Prime

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Don't forget his awareness also

I think at least twice another WR caught the ball, fumbled and Thomas comes out of nowhere to recover

Even if this is his ceiling that means he'll be great for the next decade

The possibility that he'll get better, maybe much better is downright scary
 

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