Michael Thomas NFL Draft 2016: Scouting Report, Grade for Saints Rookie

B/R Video@@bleacherreportB/R VideoApril 30, 2016

POSITIVES

The nephew of former No. 1 overall pick Keyshawn Johnson, Ohio State's Michael Thomas is ready to make a name for himself. As the top receiver in this year's draft class, Thomas is doing just that.

In a draft dominated by smaller receivers, Thomas' size is a positive trait. He's a full 6'2 ¾" with a jacked 217-pound frame. His 10 ½-inch hands are above-average size for his frame and allow Thomas to grab the ball away from his body with confidence.

In the last two seasons at Ohio State, we charted just five drops for Thomas on 110 catches. He turned those catches into 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns in an offense that featured the running back first and a running quarterback second. Without getting 100-plus targets per season, Thomas still managed to produce quality numbers.

Thomas' ability to stutter-step and set up cornerbacks with double moves is impressive for a big receiver. He knows how to vary his speed and can break down his hips to leave cornerbacks guessing and driving upfield while he's running by them.

Thomas is a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Put him in the "X" and get him the ball. He has the skills to make an early impact in any offensive system.

NEGATIVES

Thomas doesn't always look natural as a route-runner against tough man coverage. He can tear up off coverage, but he isn't always reacting and gliding through his routes if a good defensive back is in-phase. Trusting his routes and playing with more of a dog mentality will help him here.

As with any Ohio State receiver, Thomas must answer concerns that the offense created opportunities for him. Can he create on his own? The tape would seem to say yes, but in the NFL he won't have the playmakers around him that the Buckeyes threatened college defenses with.

On special teams, Thomas has no value and no experience. He's not built for fourth down.


COMBINE RESULTS

Height: 6'2 ¾"

Weight: 217 lbs.

40 Time: 4.47s

3-Cone: 6.80s

Short Shuttle: 4.13s

PRO COMPARISON: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
FINAL GRADE: 7.10/9.00 (Round 1—Rookie Starter)

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