Buying or Selling Mike Thomas Trade to Lions as Impact Move

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Buying or Selling Mike Thomas Trade to Lions as Impact Move
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly traded receiver Mike Thomas to the Detroit Lions.

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com:

This also comes as no surprise, because the Lions needed receiver depth in helping complement star target Calvin Johnson. After all, veteran No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson was lost for the year according to Anwar Richardson of MLive.com:

To that end, let's break down a buying and selling standpoint of Thomas to the Motor City.

 

Buying

Thomas has the potential to be one consistent receiver. Having played with the Jaguars since 2009, he has been responsible for 158 receptions, 1,688 yards and six touchdowns entering the 2012 campaign.

No, these are not elite numbers by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, Thomas' quarterbacks while at Jacksonville consisted primarily of David Garrard, Josh McCown and Blaine Gabbert. In other words: nowhere near the talent level of Matthew Stafford.

Additionally, Thomas can make a strong impact on special teams. As a rookie in 2009, he averaged 24.7 yards per kickoff return on 26 attempts and compiled 564 punt return yards between '09 and 2011.

Offensively, he can line up in the slot or out wide and possesses the quickness and capability to defeat single coverage. Now provided with a better quarterback, Thomas has the potential to see inflated numbers when/if given a good number of playmaking opportunities.

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Selling

The only concern regarding Thomas' potential impact is Detroit's current weaponry in the passing game.

Yes, Burleson is out but it's not like he was all Stafford had after Megatron. Brandon Pettigrew is a complete tight end that can stretch or widen a defense. Also, his size and strength can outjump anyone for the ball and wall off defenders when faced man-to-man.

Obviously, Johnson stands out as the primary receiver, although Titus Young and Ryan Broyles have displayed reliability as well. Broyles performed nicely against the Chicago Bears on Monday night and then again versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Young, on the other hand, has been doing work in catching 15 of his previous 17 targets for 181 yards and two scores in the past two games. Combine all the elements of Megatron, Pettigrew and these two improving receivers, Thomas won't see a major contributing role.

Not to mention the Lions still must establish better on the ground, which will take away snaps and heavy receiver formation sets.

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Final Verdict

Because the Lions have yet to fully find a rhythm in their rushing attack and rely so heavily on the passing game, this was a smart move for Detroit.

To be straight forward: Buying Mike Thomas to the Lions.

He ensures additional reliability when going with four and five receiver sets, plus the NFC North is still a division controlled by pass-oriented offenses. Factor in the Lions defense which can be suspect at times when allowing 21-plus points, teams like the Green Bay Packers can explode for more.

Currently sitting at 3-4 and facing a tough schedule during the season's second half, Detroit is preparing for the worst; Meaning: in case it gets into a high-scoring affair or needs a quick comeback like what happened against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thomas helps in that area.

After all, the Lions aren't out of the postseason race just yet, and Stafford's late-game heroics only become better with a guy like Thomas adding depth to the passing attack.

 

Follow John Rozum on Twitter.

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