Many will say no because of his height (5-8, 198) and the fact he wasn’t highly-touted entering the 2009 NFL Draft, when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round.
Well regardless of how people perceive Thomas, one thing is clear: the third-year wide out is prepared to be the top option in Jacksonville this coming season.
“I think highly of myself and I think that’s the only way to be,” Thomas said. “I see that kind of stuff and I just kind of smile at it and laugh. We’ll see what happens. It’s not my job or I don’t care about it as much when people say those kinds of things. It comes with the territory. It doesn’t deter me from what I believe … “
Thomas will only use naysayers as motivation.
“Whatever jargon people can come up with, it’s nothing but fuel when you believe you’re just as good as some of the other receivers that they tend to give this high praise to. People tend to look over you, to look past you … I love it, getting that from people. When they see what I am doing on the field, they think differently. I think I am more than a slot receiver and that’s the way I go about my business.”
I admit I entered the offseason somewhat skeptical of Thomas being a primary receiver for the Jaguars, but as I’ve given the issue thought, I am more concerned with Jason Hill being the No. 2 wide out because of his unproven track record.
Actually, I predict that Thomas will become a 1,000 yard receiver this season. He was close last year with 820 yards and should improve that with another year of experience and a more defined role in the offense.
As for size being a possible deterrent when viewing Thomas as a legitimate top target, Paul Kuharsky of ESPN makes some excellent points.
“The concept of a No. 1 receiver is often misunderstood. The term is certainly overused.There are not 32 Andre Johnsons in the NFL: Big, physical, fast targets with good hands, who can run deep or go fearlessly across the middle, who consistently draw double coverage or make defenses pay a giant price for not paying sufficient attention.
I define a No. 1 receiver as a consistent player who has several redeeming qualities that makes them a reliable option and tough matchup. Not everyone can be like Johnson, as Kuharsky said, but I think Thomas has the ability to fit my definition of a No. 1 receiver.
And in the NFL today where no-press rule cater to small receivers, an undersized yet quick guy like Thomas can be a dangerous weapon. Heck, he can be a near Pro Bowl-level receiver. I’m not sure if he’s there yet, but based on what Thomas says, he thinks he can get there and so do I.
Tags: Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jason Hill, Mike Thomas, NFL, wide receiver
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