WR Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints
|6-3, 212||Born: 3-3-1993||College: Ohio St.||Drafted: Round 2|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2016 Week 17 vs ATL (14 / 10 / 156 / 1 rec)
Thomas entered the box score with a quick slant from the left boundary on his team's second drive, earning ten yards. Thomas ran a hitch route up the right sideline on the following series, breaking one tackle and impressively cutting upfield for an extra several yards on the 20-yard gain that took his season total over 1,000. He found space up the field on play-action midway through the second quarter, narrowly separating from a LB to make room for a perfect throw on the 25-yard pickup. Early in the final period, Thomas elevated over man coverage down the left sideline for a spectacular 29-yard reception. His "late hands" left his man guessing the entire way. He was rewarded later in the drive with a 14-yard TD, once again whipping Jalen Collins with an explosive hitch route before turning upfield and diving into the end zone. Thomas continued to feast on the same CB to begin the following drive, still operating up the right sideline. This time he won with a swift back-shoulder route for 22 additional yards. Thomas remained busy later in the drive, securing inside leverage with a three-step slant for five yards to move the chains. Thomas was unable to win a contested catch with Collins sitting on the underneath route on the following play, resulting in a touchback INT. Thomas remained a reliable source a yardage despite the loss of his team's other top WRs, converting a fourth-down on a deep PA-crosser for 17 yards. The ball went right back in his direction on the next play, a quick hitch to the right sideline for another five yards. He caught another hitch from the right slot for his tenth and final catch shortly later in the drive, picking up nine deep in ATL territory. Thomas appeared shaken up on NO's final offensive play of the day, perhaps due to the substantial workload. His performance today, especially down the stretch, leave no questions about his future as NO's alpha target in the passing game.
2016 Week 16 vs TB (8 / 6 / 98 / 0 rec)
Thomas ran a hitch route from the left outside position for his first catch, a five-yard pickup in the second quarter. Later in the half, Thomas ran an intermediate in route to gain 15 yards with inside leverage. Thomas recorded the play of the day midway through the third period, catching a three-step slant from the left boundary before turning upfield and making a pair of defenders miss en route to a 46 yard gain. He ran a deep hitch early in the fourth period, sitting down in front of man coverage before physically ripping the ball out of the air at the catch point for 17 yards and a critical first down. After failing to reel in an isolation fade and a quick slant deep in the redzone, Thomas bounced back on the following drive with another of his quintessential three-step slants for ten yards. The ball went right back in his direction on the following down, a quick hitch to the right boundary off a QB rollout for five more. A physical weapon still learning the intricacies of route running, NO's top WR has his best days clearly ahead of him.
2016 Week 15 vs ARI (10 / 7 / 52 / 1 rec)
Thomas' first catch occurred in the second quarter, a shallow crosser from the left slot for a gain of four. He ran a hitch route from the left outside alignment later in the half, boxing out the defender for eight yards. Thomas ran a hitch route from the left boundary early in the third, boxing out the defender for six. He caught another ball on the very next play, running an intermediate out route to the same alignment for nine. Thomas dropped a three-step slant later in the series that cost his team a third-down conversion. He ran another physical curl route on the subsequent possession, catching the pass and proceeding to fight his way forward for an extra five yards on the 12-yard gain. Thomas ran a successful fade route late into the fourth quarter, elevating over man coverage to secure the catch for an impressive four-yard TD. The rookie ran a three-step slant on the following drive, winning quick inside leverage for a gain of nine. Thomas continues to impress despite occasional mistakes; his physical game is a perfect fit for the NO outside WR position.
2016 Week 13 vs DET (5 / 4 / 42 / 0 rec)
Thomas' first catch occurred with 5:49 left in the first half, a screen to the right flat on third-and-long. The Detroit defense responded quickly to shut down the play after a two-yard gain. Thomas ran a short in-route late in the third period, and proceeded to turn up the field for 16 yards. He caught a back-shoulder pass on the following play, elevating to the left sideline with outside leverage for a toe-tapping 14-yard gain. Thomas gained 10 yards on a short crosser in garbage time. Thomas had a relatively quiet day by his standards, as New Orleans struggled to find consistency in any area all day.
2016 Week 12 vs LA (10 / 9 / 108 / 2 rec)
Thomas got his first catch on the second play from scrimmage, coming across the middle of the field on a play-action pass for 12 yards. Thomas received a quick screen late in the second period for five yards near the left boundary, and drew a 24-yard DPI two plays later. Deep in LA territory on the same drive, Thomas ran a subtle double move to gain outside leverage before elevating over coverage for a six-yard TD grab. Thomas ran a hitch from the left boundary with under a minute left in the half, gaining ten yards. The rookie caught a short checkdown near the right sideline with Brees coming in motion, gaining two yards in the process. Thomas converted a third-and-eight two plays later with a deep in route through zone coverage, elevating to receive the pass and then turning upfield for 35 yards. He furthered his huge day later in the same drive, breaking wide open up the left sideline on a blown coverage before making a man miss and dragging another into the endzone for an impressive 21-yard TD. Thomas ran a shallow crosser early in the final period, extending the ball through contact for six yards and a new set of downs. He went over 100 yards late in the fourth quarter, catching a quick-hitter at the right sideline and showing impressive balance up the field for 11 yards. The OROY candidate is clearly New Orleans' best and most consistent receiver at this stage of the year, a rock solid WR2 with significant upside on days like today.
2016 Week 11 vs CAR (5 / 5 / 68 / 0 rec)
Thomas' first catch came late in the first half, a vertical route up the right sideline in which he found space between two defenders for a 16-yard pickup. The rookie did not record another catch until late in the fourth period, when he ran an out-route to the left sideline for 11 despite a defender being draped over his back. Thomas caught a short hitch to the left sideline a few plays later, breaking a tackle and turning upfield for nine yards. He padded his statline on the final two plays of the game, catching a pair of passes underneath the defense for a total of 32 yards that served as zero threat to the outcome of the three-point game. It was a quiet day for Thomas until the final 20%, when he caught four passes as a result of New Orleans playing from behind. He remains a fixture of the Saints' passing attack.
2016 Week 10 vs DEN (6 / 4 / 40 / 0 rec)
Thomas' eventful day started early in the second period on a seam route from the right slot. Dealing with tight man coverage from Bradley Roby, he could not corral the target. Instead, the ball was tipped into the hands of a Denver DB for an easy INT. His first catch of the day came late in the second quarter, a three-step slant from the left boundary for seven yards. He ran a back-shoulder up the left sideline just before halftime, receiving the ball away from tight man coverage for 16 yards to enter prime FG range. Thomas ran a short whip route early in the fourth quarter, securing a short catch before taking the ball upfield. However, Thomas lost control of the ball when Roby punched it out of his arms into the hands of a DEN teammate for a costly fumble. Thomas was targeted twice on New Orleans' next drive, failing to catch the low target on the first one. He caught a short hitch through the middle but coughed up the football once again on first impact for his second costly fumble of the day. His impressive rookie year took a bit of a step back today, as Thomas' two fumbles went a long way to determining the game's outcome. It was a positive to see the coaching staff's continued faith in him, however, as Thomas did not lose any playing time and should continue with heavy involvement for the Saints offense the rest of the way.
2016 Week 9 vs SF (8 / 5 / 73 / 2 rec)
Thomas' first catch of the day, occurring during the team's second drive, came on a perfectly thrown back-shoulder route from the right slot. Thomas made a timely adjustment to the football to gain an easy 23 yards. He was given a shot at a quick slant TD from the one on the following drive, but it was well defended by an opposing CB. He atoned two plays later, however, when he won ample leverage with a smooth back-shoulder route for an easy one-yard touchdown. He ran a three-step slant early in the second quarter, parlaying the inside leverage for a nine-yard gain. Thomas' next reception came late in the third quarter with another three-step slant for a quick eight. Early in the fourth quarter, Thomas recorded the signature play of his young career. From 32 yards out, the rookie vertical route up the right sideline and was actually blanketed tightly by man coverage. Thomas fought through this however, and showcased spectacular concentration to haul in the tipped pass and land narrowly in bounds for a highlight-reel TD. Quite possibly the most talented member of his team's receiving corps only eight games into his career, Thomas seemingly improves each week. He is an every-week WR2 with significant upside to boot.
2016 Week 8 vs SEA (6 / 6 / 63 / 0 rec)
Thomas started his day against Richard Sherman, gaining separation on a short hitch route up the right sideline for seven. He beat Sherman again on the following drive, a comeback route that earned seven. Thomas continued his early involvement by winning inside leverage on a three-step slant before illustrating impressive YAC skills to make a man miss for nine yards. His next catch came early in the third quarter, a short crosser in which he settled down in a shallow before turning upfield after the catch for a 17-yard gain. He drew a questionable defensive holding call on his next target two plays later, a three-step slant. Thomas showed more quickness on a hitch route late in the third period, gaining separation and turning back to the football before utilizing a stiff-arm to gain 16 yards up the left sideline. He ran the same route on the Saints' final drive, but a minor slip allowed the DB to tackle him for what amounted to a 2-yard gain. Thomas' featured role appears here to stay. Improving every week, he is constantly on the field, even in 1-WR jumbo packages with an expanding route tree. He will be on the WR2 radar.
2016 Week 7 vs KC (13 / 10 / 130 / 0 rec)
Snead began his productive day with a short zig route from the right slot to beat man coverage for seven yards and a first down. He gained 17 yards on the following down, gaining inside leverage on an intermediate crosser. Snead served as a chain-mover once again on the following drive, earning outside leverage on an intermediate out route to gain 15 yards on third-and-long. On the next play, Snead was unable to corral the target through heavy contact resulting in a tipped pass that was returned for a pick-six. His team's trust in the young receiver didn't waver, as Brees went back to him to begin the following possession for a five-yard pickup to the right flat. He ran a short crosser later in the half for seven, but he fell several yards short of the first down. His first reception of the second half came on a short checkdown to the right flat in which he cut back inside to gain seven after the catch. Snead settled down in the left flat for a short gain of six late in the third quarter, but fell a yard short of the first down. Snead converted a clutch third down with an out-route from the right slot to beat man coverage and pick up 12 yards. He opened the Saints' last-gasp drive with an 11-yard gain on an uncovered seam route in which he was not able to get out-of-bounds. He is Brees' most trusted target in high-pressure situations as evidenced by his numerous third-down conversions.
2016 Week 6 vs CAR (5 / 5 / 78 / 1 rec)
Michael Thomas' emergence is one of the best storylines of New Orleans' season. It was clear early on that the Saints added more to his plate over the bye week in terms of the playbook, and it resulted in a very productive day. Thomas ran a shallow crosser early in the first quarter for his first catch of the game, a touchdown in which he broke a tackle before easily striding in for a nine-yard score. He found space down the right sideline just before halftime with a successful outside release, gaining 28 yards in the no-huddle attack. Thomas ran a deep post route midway through the third period, finding a soft zone and hauling in a 23-yard pass before absorbing a significant hit and maintaining control. An unrelated penalty mitigated another impressive deep completion to Thomas later in the quarter. Early in the fourth period, Thomas ran a short hitch from the right boundary before breaking back inside to gain 11. The rookie ran a short hitch route in New Orleans' two-minute drill to gain seven yards. His expanding role makes him an intriguing WR3 for the rest of the season.
2016 Week 4 vs SD (9 / 4 / 44 / 1 rec)
Thomas entered the stat column on the game's first drive, winning inside leverage on an intermediate slant for 15 yards to move New Orleans into the red-zone. Two plays later, he ran a shallow crosser to the left sideline before diving to the one-yard line. The rookie continued his heavy involvement early in the second quarter, quickly winning inside on a three-step slant for nine yards. Thomas suffered a drop on the opening play of the second half for New Orleans. Another apparent miscue occurred early in the fourth quarter, as Brees targeted Thomas up the left seam but the rookie fell down midway through his route, resulting in an easy interception. He amended himself shortly after, hauling in a crucial back-shoulder throw to the left sideline for a five-yard touchdown. Thomas has clearly earned a role despite the noted miscues, albeit while running a limited route tree. He should be a fixture of WR-heavy sets even with Willie Snead nearing 100%.
2016 Week 3 vs ATL (11 / 7 / 71 / 1 rec)
Thomas benefitted from a pick play on a slant near the endzone, crossing underneath and making a shoelace catch for a three-yard touchdown. The rookie illustrated impressive ball skills early in the second half, turning around and making a 25-yard reception up the left sideline with a DB in his face. Thomas ran an identical route to the one he scored on early in the third period, gaining six but nearly pushing through contact for a second score. He quickly won inside leverage on the following drive with a slant for an easy 13 yards. A tipped slant intended for Thomas was intercepted early in the fourth, but Brees went right back in his direction on another slant, Thomas' primary route, for 12 yards. He continued his volume on short slants on the next drive, as well, using the inside leverage for nine and three yards, respectively. Thomas makes his money with physicality on inside-breaking routes, and may see fantasy value in the near future especially if Snead continues to miss time.
2016 Week 2 vs NYG (5 / 4 / 56 / 0 rec)
Thomas gave the Saints their biggest contribution of the first half, and it all occurred on the final drive. His first reception occurred on an intermediate post route from the right sideline, as he gained inside leverage and proceeded upfield for 17 yards. The very next play was another inside-breaking route to Thomas, as he shuffled his feet before parlaying his inside leverage for a gain of 23. He was targeted on an intermediate crosser to begin the second half, but suffered a drop by letting the defensive back strip the ball from his hands. A staple of Thomas' young season, he ran a slant route early in the fourth period to move the Saints into the red zone with an eight-yard gain. The rookie was the target on a checkdown pass to the right flat off a Brees rollout late in the fourth period, making the first two men miss before going upfield for eight yards. Thomas will continue to produce in an unspectacular yet reliable way throughout his rookie year.
2016 Week 1 vs OAK (6 / 6 / 58 / 0 rec)
The OSU alum didn't appear to be given a large portion of the playbook in his debut, running a seemingly limited route tree, but he was very efficient with his opportunities. Thomas found space in the left flat on New Orleans' fourth drive for a 11 yard slant route for his first career catch. The rookie caught a nearly identical pass off a slant pattern just five plays later, but extended the play to a 25-yard gain by juking the CB in man coverage out of his shoes and proceeding further upfield. Thomas stayed busy on slant routes into the next series, again winning inside leverage over the middle of the field for seven yards. A fourth slant took place early in the second half, gaining just four yards on third-and-long. Thomas' fifth reception was his first non-slant of the day, a short hitch route near the left boundary that picked up nine yards. He showed impressive hands on his sixth and final catch of the day, grasping the ball away from his man coverage on yet another short slant for two yards. Thomas drew a pass interference midway through the final period, utilizing a double-move to force his man coverage into desperation and pick up 11 yards. Thomas showed incredible awareness midway through the fourth quarter, seemingly appearing out of nowhere to scoop up a critical loose ball that had been fumbled by Willie Snead, a play that will undoubtedly endear him to his coaching staff. Thomas projects to be a fixture in 3-WR sets as the year progresses, and is definitely on the fantasy radar after already surpassing Brandon Coleman on the dpeth chart.
Latest NewsNFL | Mike Williams draws lofty comparison (Thu Mar 16, 09:36 PM) - Clemson WR Mike Williams was compared to New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas by an NFL scout following William's pro day performance Thursday, March 16. Our View: And they mean that in the best way possible. Thomas had an outstanding rookie season, good enough to send Brandin Cooks packing. Williams can easily have that impact as well, which would mean Cooks had best hope the Patriots don't take him.
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