clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2017 Rams Roster Preview: WR Mike Thomas Looks To Year Two Jump

New, comments

Can Thomas make a significant improvement and carve out a consistent role on offense in year two?

NFL: International Series-New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams WR Mike Thomas is a player that I thought was a great find in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was a bit underrated and probably got drafted about two or three rounds later than he should have as a sixth-round pick. Since January, he's been one of three or four names I have constantly mentioned as someone to look out for this season. He has the potential to be a big threat to every receiver on the roster.

Roster Battle

As it stands now, WRs Tavon Austin, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are all virtually locked in as the top three receivers. After that however, it's wide open.

It wouldn't be a surprise if a receiver shines enough to steal number three targets from Kupp only because of the vertical concept that is sure to be mixed into Head Coach Sean McVay’s offense. In those situations, Kupp — one of the least vertical threats on the team — may very well lose targets.

Thomas is battling Pharoh Cooper, Josh Reynolds, Paul McRoberts and Nelson Spruce for those stolen third-receiver targets as well as one of the final two or three receiver spots.

Expectations

I fully expect Thomas to take a massive leap forward.

One thing that can be taken away from his rookie season is his ability to beat the press, stack the defender, and get downfield. He did this weekly as a gunner on punt against both starting and backup corners, and routinely was the first man down to prevent a return. This same skill is used to get deep on routes in the vertical game. Word from spring practices suggest he's implementing this skill into his offensive game.

He should shine on intermediate to deep routes.

Chances of making the final roster (8/10)

I have a hard time seeing Thomas not making the final 53-man roster. In fact, I see him securing the fourth receiver slot, and splitting reps with Kupp as the third receiver. Thomas has the potential — and is a serious contender — to be one of the Rams’ breakout performers this year.

A season of 450 yards and 4 touchdowns could definitely happen. If an injury occurs above him on the depth chart, 700+ is not out of the realm of possibility.