- Aug 1, 1997
- Reaction score
- Sunset, La
By Kevin Patra | Around the NFL writer
Michael Thomas is a stud.
The New Orleans Saints receiver spent his rookie season slicing up defensive backs to the tune of 92 receptions, 1,137 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Those are all Saints franchise rookie records and the second-most yards for a rookie wideout in NFL history.
Taken in the second round of the 2016 draft (the sixth receiver off the board), Thomas earned nearly double the yards of the next closest rookie receiver (Sterling Shepard, 683). The 6-foot-3 ball-snatcher wasn't just best in his class, but immediately shoved his name among the top receivers in the entire NFL. Thomas finished in the top 10 in receptions, yards and touchdowns for receivers in 2016. Oh, and he did that all while still missing one game.
Simple stats not enough for you? Fine. How about Next Gen Stats? As NFL.com colleague Matt Harmon pointed out, Thomas finished seventh in the NFL on catches in tight coverage, with a 56 percent catch rate on balls with less than one yard of separation. The Saints receiver also finished seventh among No. 1 receivers in separation per target -- generating 2.38 yards of separation. Combine those stats and you can see that Thomas not only can make contested catches, but also can burn corners with crisp routes...
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