- Aug 1, 1997
- Reaction score
- Sunset, La
By Joel A. Erickson
Five wide receivers were selected in the 2016 NFL draft before the New Orleans Saints snapped up Michael Thomas in the second round, a development that failed to surprise many analysts but left Thomas feeling like he had something to prove.
He's off to a good start.
Thomas opened his NFL career by turning in the best rookie receiving season in Saints history, setting rookie records for receptions (92), yards (1,137) and touchdowns (nine) as he eclipsed the rookie campaign of the legend he was drafted to replace, longtime Saints star Marques Colston.
Not only did Thomas set Saints rookie marks, he also far outpaced any other rookie receiver in his class. Behind him, Giants' rookie Sterling Shepard was the next-best in terms of production, way behind Thomas with 65 catches for 683 yards, although he did score eight times.
"I believed in myself," Thomas said after ripping off 10 catches, 156 yards and a touchdown in a season-ending loss to Atlanta. "I played with a chip on my shoulder and will never lose it. I felt like I got slept on during the draft process, but everything happens for a reason, and I am here today. I never gave up, and I feel like it shows a lot of character, but I’m going to keep building on this year."...
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