Home > News > Sports > NFL > 2016 NFL Draft: Michael Thomas selected 47th by New Orleans Saints

2016 NFL Draft: Michael Thomas selected 47th by New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas - WR, Ohio StatePick Analysis


Michael Thomas – WR, Ohio State

Pick Analysis

The Saints have lost Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston in the last two years, in other words, both of their big targets. They are left with Willie Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead. That’s not bad, but they need a big body. Michael Thomas is the best ‘big’ receiver left in the draft. In fact, I think he could’ve been drafted in the first round. He has amazing ball skills and he is ultra-competitive. He goes up to get the ball very well and will be able to work the middle of the field. This is a good value pick. Remy Cabache

Player Analysis

Thomas could be a great example of a college football player who can far outplay what he did as an amateur and thrive as a pro in the NFL.  Some of his peers in this wide receiver class have made a more obvious impact and have put up bigger numbers statistically, but Thomas has upside to match.  The Ohio State system and the play of his quarterbacks, including the best of the bunch being more of a run threat, along with a group of talented targets that results in the ball being spread around a bit, has resulted in modest numbers for the junior.  When the opportunities come his way however, Thomas is able to make plays and flash his impressive skill set.  While not an elite burner, Thomas is impressively athletic to go with his size which he uses to make plays on all levels; short, intermediate and deep.  Though he was not asked to run a full route tree for the Buckeyes, his routes are precise and effective, which he follows up by using his size well to position himself in front of DB’s or his height to high point the ball above them.  Thomas also offers a legitimate threat after the catch to create yards and maximise the open space in front of him.  Drops have at times been an issue.  Often going long stretches without seeing any targets might suggest simply a concentration issue here.  There could also be a little adjustment period.  Thomas took some time early in his Ohio State career to learn the system, so much so that the decision was made to redshirt him in 2013 while he worked on his game within the scheme (and to focus on some academic struggles off the field).  With his role in the offensive system already not being overly complex, learning an NFL calibre route tree, terminology and scheme might result in a relatively quieter rookie campaign.  It ought to be worth the wait however for his potential. (Rebecca Rennie)

Grade A


2016 NFL Draft: Michael Thomas selected 47th by New Orleans Saints

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