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Dynasty Prospect Profile: Mike Thomas

By Jared Smola 8:49am EDT 4/5/16

Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Mississippi

Height: 6’1

Weight: 200

Age: 21.6


Pro Day results:

(Thomas was not invited to the Combine. The following measurables are from his Pro Day, according to NFL.com. In parentheses are Thomas’ percentile ranks among all WRs at the Combine since 1999):

40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds (45th percentile)

Vertical: 36” (53rd percentile)

Broad: 10’11 (96th percentile)

3-cone: 7.06 seconds (29th percentile)

20-yard shuttle: 4.29 seconds (29th percentile)


College career:

Lightly recruited out of high school, Thomas spent his first 2 collegiate seasons in community college: the 1st at College of Dupage and the 2nd at Dodge City Community College. Thomas’ 42-709-3 line with Dodge City was enough to land him a scholarship at Southern Miss.

He played in all 12 games in 2014, moving into the starting lineup in Week 3. Thomas tallied a pair of 100-yard games but was also held under 20 yards in half of his outings. He handled kick-return duties as well, averaging 24.7 yards per attempt and scoring a 100-yard TD.

Thomas emerged in 2015 as 1 of the most productive WRs in the country. His 14 TDs ranked 5th in the country, and his 1,391 yards were good for 7th — just ahead of more highly touted prospects Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson and Sterling Shepard. Thomas’ 19.6 yards per catch ranked 5th among WRs with 40+ grabs.

The huge season came despite a slow start. Thomas went 4-33 in the opener, missed the 2nd game and caught just 2 balls for 27 yards in Week 3. Then he ripped off 11 straight games of 84+ yards, with 100+ in 8 of those. He also scored in 10 straight games to close the season.

Now, it’s worth noting that Thomas played on a 2015 Southern Miss passing attack that finished 7th in yards and 6th in TDs. But he still posted solid market shares: 21.0% of the receptions, 30.1% of the receiving yards and 35.0% of the TDs.


Film study:

Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com

Games watched: Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky, Washington

Twitter was all in a tizzy when Thomas didn’t get a Combine invite. Now I see why. The kid boasts an intriguing combination of athleticism and technical skills.

Let's start with the athleticism. This long catch-and-run TD in Thomas’ final college game shows his acceleration to split a couple of defenders and then his long speed to run away from the rest of them.

Michael Thomas (Southern Miss) WR vs Washington (2015)


Vertical ability? Check.

MICHAEL THOMAS WR #88 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Louisiana Tech


MICHAEL THOMAS WR #88 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Louisiana Tech


That play also shows some impressive ball skills. Thomas’ tape is stuffed with examples of that trait. He has strong hands, timing and body control.

Michael Thomas WR #88 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Western Kentucky


MICHAEL THOMAS WR #88 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Louisiana Tech


MICHAEL THOMAS WR #88 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Louisiana Tech


I’d put Thomas’ ball skills right near the top of this class, maybe behind only TCU’s Josh Doctson. According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas had the highest catch rate in contested situations in the class. He’s simply a vacuum when the ball is in his vicinity

Now, Thomas isn’t a finished product as a route runner. But his athleticism gives him a shot to develop into a nightmare for opposing DBs.

Michael Thomas WR #88 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Western Kentucky


Fantasy potential:

Thomas checks all the boxes: production, measurables and tape. Perhaps the biggest concern for his fantasy prospects is the fact that he wasn’t invited to the Combine. That means that, at best, he’s flying under the radar and, at worst, NFL scouts simply don’t like him.

We’ll get a better feel based on where Thomas is drafted. He’ll probably be either a late-round pick or undrafted free agent, which will make his path to playing time tougher.

But the cream eventually rises to the top. If Thomas can refine his game and take full advantage of his athleticism and skill set, he has the potential to emerge as a contributor both for his NFL team and his fantasy squads.


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