New Orleans Saints: Could Michael Thomas be the best receiver ever?

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints warms up prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints warms up prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images)
(Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images) /

Historic Thomas?

It’s far too early in his career to say that Thomas has worked his way into the discussion of one of the greatest receivers of all-time. Despite the efficiency and impressive records he already has, no one would say that Michael Thomas is a better receiver than Calvin Johnson or Chris Carter.

However, let’s see just how efficient Thomas has been through his first four seasons in comparison to some of those greats.

Of course, it would only be fitting to address the receptions record considering that is the greatest feat by Thomas so far. As mentioned before, Thomas is one of only two players with more than one season of 125 receptions or more.

That means that half of his years in the league, Thomas has posted seasons with reception numbers greater than some of the best.

Even Chris Carter, a Hall of Fame receiver, did not manage to break the 125 mark once. His best two seasons both ended in reception totals of 122. Impressive, for sure, but still short of what Thomas has managed.

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However, it is somewhat unfair that receptions be the only basis of greatness. Thomas is working with one of the best offensive minds in the game and a Hall of Fame quarterback. But Thomas has proven his own worth with his hands, and that’s not something that the others can completely control. Even good passes are dropped often by receivers.

Last season, Thomas was targeted 185 times and dropped just 6 passes. The season before, he only had 3 drops on 147 targets.

Respectively, Thomas finished those seasons with drop percentages of 3.7 and 2 percent. For reference, Larry Fitzgerald has had the best drop percentage in the league for a while with 2.69 percent. Thomas may get more targets because of the system he plays in, but his hands are as secure as some of the best to ever play.

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