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2016 NFL Draft: Ohio State WR Michael Thomas Scouting Report

The Rams offensive woes aren't purely a result of the poor offensive line play. Receivers in theory are there to catch the ball, something that doesn't always happen for the Rams.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The draft has been kind to teams who have been looking for receivers the past few years. Unfortunately, the Rams have not been one of them. They stood pat in 2015 and as a result, the passing offense was abysmal. Luckily, 2016 looks to continue the trend of quality receivers being available with Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson and Michael Thomas leading the charge for names who you'll probably hear on the first day of the draft.

With that in mind, could Thomas fit for the Rams? (Well, he's tall, so that covers about 50% of the prerequisites for Jeff Fisher).


Thomas displays the ability to climb the ladder and make impressive plays

Through the games I've watched, I didn't see a pattern of glaring drops. He's a sure handed receiver who does a good job of catching the ball with his hands, rather than his body. Thomas displays the ability to climb the ladder and make impressive plays in a large radius. Take a look at this touchdown grab against NIU:

Thomas has no problem grabbing what is a well-thrown fade. He's able to adjust to ball well before it arrives and has no trouble grabbing it and maintaining possession. Plays like this would seemingly make him an excellent red-zone target.


Thomas is not going to wow you with speed or elusiveness (he doesn't have a second gear as a deep threat) but he IS able to pick-up yards after the catch if he is given space, as seen here against NIU:

Not enough to win a footrace, but easily enough to pick up a first down. Thomas displays great awareness here; while he does run laterally, he never steps backwards risking a loss of yardage. A few cuts and he's able to pick up 11 yards after the catch.


On multiple plays I saw Thomas blocking for runners against Virginia Tech. He seems to be a willing blocker at best. Like most receivers, he doesn't appear to be too polished, and on some change-of-direction plays he wouldn't even bother. Here is an example of his blocking ability:

The corner doesn't put up much of a challenge at all, but Thomas is at least willing to get in front of him and try to block. Jones is able to pick up a few more yards because of it. That's about all you'll expect out of Thomas when it comes to blocking, at least out of the gate.

Route Running

Thomas is an advanced route runner, all things considered. All-22 Film of Ohio State isn't exactly easy to come by, but his cuts look crisp. Here's him doing an excellent job of getting inside on Kendall Fuller (a first round pick in his own right) and making a good, physical catch:

He's also got some pretty good moves:

He doesn't have elite athleticism, but Fuller is TORCHED on the stutter step en-route to an easy touchdown grab by Thomas.


Michael Thomas is a polished receiving prospect for whatever team decides to draft him. His size, route running, crispness of cuts and physicality all stand out against even top-tier competition. He needs to continue to work on the finer points of his game, but he looks the part of an NFL receiver.

He doesn't have elite speed or athleticism, but he makes up for it with size. For a team that covets large receivers like the Rams, he could be a good option in the first or second round of the draft.