WR Michael Thomas: Drafted
Round: 2 (No. 47 overall)
Team: New Orleans Saints
Fork Union Military Academy
32 1/8-inch arm length
10 1/2-inch hands
Scout Pre-Draft Rankings
No. 4 wide receiver in the draft
No. 39 overall prospect
Ohio State Career: Considering he came to Columbus as a four-star wide receiver in the 2012 recruiting class and is the nephew of NFL legend Keyshawn Johnson, Thomas had high expectations. After two relatively anonymous seasons in the program he realized them.
Thomas saw the field in 11 games as a true freshman for the undefeated Buckeyes, but had just three receptions for 22 yards. Due to inconsistencies in practice, Thomas redshirted in 2013, a rarity for a sophomore, but became a reliable target the following year.
In 2014 Thomas was the leading receiver for the College Football Playoff national champions, hauling in a team-high 54 catches along with 799 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, both second among Buckeyes. Those stats came with some key highlights for Thomas, including taking a short slant 79 yards for a touchdown to tie a game Ohio State would eventually win at Michigan State. His most memorable moment, however, may have been an acrobatic touchdown in the back of the end zone against No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl that saw Thomas barely tap his toes in bounds just before halftime.
As a redshirt junior last season Thomas again led the team in catches, hauling in 56 balls for 781 yards and nine touchdowns for the Buckeyes. He caught a ball in every game Ohio State played to finish his career with 29 consecutive games with a reception.
Expert Breakdown: “I love the size, and I think with Thomas you’re going to get a guy who knows how to get open. His ability to catch the ball inside is nice in that regard because he’s able to use his body and do those kinds of things. I think his routes can be all over the place, but once someone teaches him how to tighten up his routes he’ll be even better because his size is outstanding. He catches the ball really well, but his routes can be a little herky jerky. Someone will work with him and get his routes tightened up, and they’ll have a damn good football player.” – Bryan Broaddus, former NFL scout
Thomas says: “Routes are routes, get out of your breaks as fast as you can and create separation. I feel like I’ve got that. I feel like I showed that on my routes. I learned from my uncle (former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson) and he set the bar real high, Coach Meyer doesn’t recruit guys who aren’t going to come in and play and that are going to contribute. I had a plan I wanted to stick to and that’s what I did.”