Photo of Michael Thomas
Grade
5.87 ?
  • 4.57 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 18 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 126.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.80 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.13 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.70 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 32 1/8" Arm Length
  • 212LBS. Weight
  • 10 1/2" Hands

Overview

Thomas is the nephew of former USC and NFL star receiver Keyshawn Johnson, which portends an excellent pro career. His road to this spot has been bumpy at times, however. Passed over by USC and UCLA as a high school recruit, Thomas went to Fork Union Military Academy (where he roomed with OSU quarterback Cardale Jones) instead of accepting scholarship offers from second-tier programs. He played in 11 games as a freshman, catching just three passes (22 yards) for the Buckeyes, and then was redshirted for the 2013 season just one game in because he was struggling to learn the offense and make his grades. Just one year later, Thomas became the leading receiver (54 catches, 799 yards, nine scores) on a national championship squad. He proved 2014 wasn?t a fluke by once again leading the Buckeyes with 56 catches, 781 yards, and nine touchdowns this fall, garnering third-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches and media. Thomas won't be picked No. 1 overall like his uncle, but an NFL team will see his potential as a Sunday playmaker.

Analysis

Strengths

Has the triangle numbers (height/weight/speed) of a WR1. Drives off the line of scrimmage selling his vertical push and forcing cornerbacks into passive position. Uses plus separation quickness at top of his route to provide comfortable passing window. Hands catcher who catches away from his frame when possible. Wasn't asked to work vertically much, but tape looks like he has a shot. Has the juice after catch to make defenses pay the price for missed tackles. Real red zone target who stacks the defender, tracks throw out of quarterback's hand and makes late play on the ball over top of defender. Has desired traits and flashes the tools.

Weaknesses

Struggles with footwork out of press release spending excessive time trying to fake and shake cornerbacks. Still figuring out this whole "route running" thing. Needs to improve playing through contact and adjusting routes appropriately. Still thinking rather than just playing. Will have to work back to the throw more often on NFL level. Won't win over quarterbacks with inability to rescue the off-­target throws. Plays with passive field demeanor against aggressive cornerbacks. Won't go looking for work as run blocker if he doesn't have to. Doesn't appear to offer special teams value.

NFL Comparison

Charles Johnson

Bottom Line

Thomas has just scratched the surface of his potential in Ohio State's offense full of quick outs and tunnel screens. While he has the size and potential to excite offensive coordinators, Thomas is still a work in progress who must develop a greater feel for the position if he is to match his traits with real NFL production. Thomas has a relatively high ceiling, but his floor is "bust."
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.