Saints: Michael Thomas gets high rating on NFL Top 100 despite missing most of last season

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is still widely respected by his peers.

That much is certain from his recent inclusion in the NFL Top 100 list, where NFL players vote for the best in the league heading into 2021.

Thomas ranks 72nd, ahead of Cincinnati Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson but behind Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. He dropped a whopping 67 places from last year’s ranking, when he cracked the top five, but given his injury-shortened season, this was all too inevitable.

The fact that he ranks so high after playing just seven games last season does question the list’s credibility.

Thomas’ ankle injury contributed to his career-low numbers in receptions (40) and receiving yards (438), and on top of that, he failed to score a touchdown for the first time in his five-year career.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas gets unusually high ranking on NFL Top 100

Thomas was recognized likely more for his previous accomplishments than what he achieved last year. Ever since joining the Saints, he’s been the “focal point of the Saints’ passing game,” amassing an NFL record 470 receptions.

Game time will tell if Thomas will get along with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill as well as he did with Drew Brees, but then again, Thomas has to actually play to create chemistry.

News of his surgery and extended absence into the start of the Saints’ 2021 season caused tectonic plate-shattering friction, to say the least. The worst might be over, as Thomas was recently spotted on the sidelines of New Orleans’ preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens last weekend in a walking boot.

Thomas and Sean Payton are reportedly in the “mending fences” stage as they discuss Thomas’ future with the franchise.

At this point, there’s very little chance Thomas will be traded, and he could reclaim the No. 1 wide receiver spot sooner than later.

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When healthy, Thomas is indisputably one of the top wideouts in the league, and what’s he’s done for New Orleans isn’t so easily forgotten. His coach, his teammates, and his NFL peers remember.