Michael Thomas considered NFL's Best Route Runner (1 Viewer)

Do you believe Michael Thomas is the Best Route Runner in the NFL?

  • YES

    Votes: 48 88.9%
  • NO

    Votes: 5 9.3%
  • TIED

    Votes: 1 1.9%

  • Total voters
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That's tough for me. Guess depends on the definition. He has really good routes, savvy. Just don't think he has the quickness and speed some do. So some people routes might lead to more separation. For his size, I think his route running is an outlier. I would say he has the best hands any day. He's also great at creating space with his body if he is covered.
 

BelowZero

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That's tough for me. Guess depends on the definition. He has really good routes, savvy. Just don't think he has the quickness and speed some do. So some people routes might lead to more separation. For his size, I think his route running is an outlier. I would say he has the best hands any day. He's also great at creating space with his body if he is covered.
The receiver you're describing is basically Julio Jones, or maybe Hopkins. Both of whom Thomas has beat from a pure numbers perspective. Julio has name power and pedigree, with the a log to back it up, but I wouldn't consider route running one of his specialties. Hopkins supposedly has deep speed, but finds himself running the same 40 time as MT. Beyond MT, Jones, and Hopkins, WRs become more specialized toward speed, hands, and size. Namely guys like Tyreek Hill or Mike Evans.

In short, I think Thomas has plenty of speed/quickness/etc, but the routes coach draws up don't exactly highlight that part of his game - nor does it need to.
 

boutrous

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This is the study that the linked OP article is referencing. Out of 8 different kinds of WR routes, MT was the best in 2019 for 4 of them. That's very impressive and pretty good evidence that he is the best route runner in the NFL. It's not by accident either, MT is the best because we constantly works to be the best.

 

jasonsw

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This is the study that the linked OP article is referencing. Out of 8 different kinds of WR routes, MT was the best in 2019 for 4 of them. That's very impressive and pretty good evidence that he is the best route runner in the NFL. It's not by accident either, MT is the best because we constantly works to be the best.

I bet MT saw that article and probably is not happy that he isn't top on all 8 of those route trees. Thomas seems to be type of player who is never satisfied and seeks to find ways to get better.
 

VPCajun

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That's tough for me. Guess depends on the definition. He has really good routes, savvy. Just don't think he has the quickness and speed some do. So some people routes might lead to more separation. For his size, I think his route running is an outlier. I would say he has the best hands any day. He's also great at creating space with his body if he is covered.

1 - Running really fast to the Wrong Place is not good. (ie, the Qb needs to know where the receiver is supposed to be.)

2- Good Route Running includes getting the DB to go the Wrong Way. One step the wrong way and the DB is toast!

Speed isn't everything. Just ask Jerry Rice.


MT does ALL of the little things that WR's **Should Be** doing.

Sharp cuts as opposed to drifting.

Attacking, not waiting on, the ball.

Catching the ball at the high point.
 
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No2DC

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This should not be a surprise, his only knock is a lack of elite speed.
 

ANKOMA33

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I can't find the link however I remember an analyst talking about CGM given the least amount of cushion on a play yet he is still able to create the most separation of top WRs (including Julio).

That was an eye opener for me.

Not only is he a great route runner, but he catch anything in his zip code.

He does everything (route running, YAC, separation) at an ELITE level.
 

Loco Hornet Fan

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I can't find the link however I remember an analyst talking about CGM given the least amount of cushion on a play yet he is still able to create the most separation of top WRs (including Julio).

That was an eye opener for me.

Not only is he a great route runner, but he catch anything in his zip code.

He does everything (route running, YAC, separation) at an ELITE level.
I remember the numbers you’re talking about (but I don’t know where to find them).

It was incredibly impressive.
 

Deucewildin

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The answer is NO. But with his aggressive- dominance mentality, hands and body control he’s the most effective. Theres name 5 guys who run better routes I can name of the type of my head but they don’t have the hands Thomas has nor the discipline and fight
 

meily

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For a player with questionable speed but HIGH production his route running prowess would have to be elite to be the threat he is on the field.
 
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The receiver you're describing is basically Julio Jones, or maybe Hopkins. Both of whom Thomas has beat from a pure numbers perspective. Julio has name power and pedigree, with the a log to back it up, but I wouldn't consider route running one of his specialties. Hopkins supposedly has deep speed, but finds himself running the same 40 time as MT. Beyond MT, Jones, and Hopkins, WRs become more specialized toward speed, hands, and size. Namely guys like Tyreek Hill or Mike Evans.

In short, I think Thomas has plenty of speed/quickness/etc, but the routes coach draws up don't exactly highlight that part of his game - nor does it need to.
I'm actually thinking of Devante Adams or non-crazy Antonio Brown types. I'm not saying Thomas isn't necessarily the best route runner technically but someone just as good or close with more speed and quickness would get more separation. So it matters how you measure it. Julio may also fit the bill because he's an athletic freak. I think Hopkins is more in Thomas's mold. I'm also not saying there are better WRs because they are quicker or faster. Size, knowing how to use that size, and hands are huge factors along with other things.
 

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