Michael Thomas   WR   Ohio St

Michael is an excellent route running receiver making cornerbacks look like those colorful spinning tops some of us played with when we were children growing up. He has deceiving speed because of his long legs that cover ground quickly. He has those long arms that give him the potential for a very big catch radius. Michael has good lateral agility and uses a stiff arm to gain yardage after the catch to keep defenders away from his legs. He is very smart and understands how to run routes using different gears to set up defenders so that he can get deep. He gains separation inside the red zone with ease because he is strong off the line of scrimmage against those physical cornerbacks slapping their hands off him and getting into his routes quickly. Michael will be a more protective receiver at the next level than he has been at the college level because he played at a level far above the level of quarterbacking on his team. Michael was a professional receiver at an amateur level and the truth is, in my opinion, it held him back in his production.

Michael has the “potential” for a large catch radius but has yet to show his ability to consistently adjust to the ball in the air and make the low and high catch. He will need to work on this with the quarterback of the team that selects him. I have no doubt he will improve in this area very quickly.

Michael runs routes with the maturity of a Larry Fitzgerald. He is far ahead in his route running than most in this draft class. Like I said, he is deceivingly fast and with his ability to get off the line of scrimmage against bump and run and his football intelligence running routes against zone coverage, Michael sends the signal that he is a complete receiver ready for the next level. He is underrated and a bit of a sleeper in this draft because of all the talent on the team that he played with and the lack of consistency at the quarterback position. In college, Michael was a professional receiver playing at the amateur level and it held him back in his production. There is no doubt in my mind that when he improves his catch radius that Michael can become the type of receiver you can build your passing game around.

Drew Boylhart  FEB.2016