New Orleans Saints fans aren’t shocked that Michael Thomas made the top-10 on Pro Football Focus’ wide receiver rankings despite missing most of last season due to injury. Anthony Treash was the one who put the rankings together and had Thomas as his No. 7 wide receiver.
Here is what Treash had to say,
"Michael Thomas leads all wide receivers in slant … let’s not go there.Thomas was limited by injury in 2020 and didn’t quite live up to expectations when healthy, earning a 78.9 receiving grade and generating 1.93 yards per route run for the year. But he has still been one of the three highest-graded and most productive (2.47 yards per route run in career) wide receivers since entering the league in 2016.Highlight-reel deep receptions don’t come as frequently for him compared to Tyreek Hill or Julio Jones, but he is the definition of dependable. Thomas is a damn good possession receiver who can win 50-50 balls better than anyone in the league."
It’s pretty impressive that despite playing in just seven games in 2020, Thomas ranked this high on the list, beating out players such as Stefon Diggs of the Bills, Adam Thielen of the Vikings, and Justin Jefferson of the Vikings, all of whom had incredible 2020 seasons. This is a testament to what kind of player Thomas is when healthy.
The Saints are fortunate to have Michael Thomas as their WR1.
It was sad that Thomas didn’t play much in what ended up being Drew Brees’ final season but the hope is that he can bounce back this year and help out whoever wins the starting quarterback job. The problem, however, is that the Saints don’t have a ton of other talent at wide receiver so a lot of the defenses are going to zero in on Thomas.
Thomas finished the 2020 season with just 40 receptions for 438 yards and didn’t find the end zone at all. It was easily the worst season of his career, as he had gone for over 1,100 yards in all of his other seasons in New Orleans. In 2019, Thomas had his best season as a Saint, totaling 149 receptions for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s the kind of Thomas the Saints are hoping to get back this year.
For what it’s worth, the six receivers ahead of Thomas are (from No. 1 to No. 6): Davante Adams (Packers), DeAndre Hopkins (Cardinals), Tyreek Hill (Chiefs), Allen Robinson (Bears), Julio Jones (Falcons — For now), and A.J. Brown (Titans). Those are the best of the best in the league and Thomas had a terrible season compared to them, so that shows how well-respected Thomas is by others despite coming off the worse season of his pro career.
Here’s to hoping to see the 2019 version of Michael Thomas again.