Michael Thomas Has Had Best Rookie Season In Saints History
New Orleans Saints rookie Michael Thomas has had the best season by any rookie in franchise history.
A second-round-draft pick out of Ohio St. back in April, Thomas, through the first 15 games of the 2016 season, has compiled 82 receptions for 981 yards, to go along with 8 touchdowns.
Exactly how impressive is that?
Well, let’s take a look, comparing Thomas’ numbers, in his rookie year, to those that rank in the top 10 in franchise history.
Now, this is for receivers only.
Jimmy Graham ranks fourth on the all-time franchise list with 386 receptions, but he was a tight end, and Pierre Thomas ranks fifth, with 323 catches, but he was a running back.
Marques Colston, who is the all-time leading receiver in team history, with 711 career receptions, had 70 catches for 1,038 yards and 8 touchdowns in his rookie year back in 2006.
So, Thomas will finish with more receptions than Colston, is only 57 receiving yards behind him, and has the same amount of touchdowns.
And again, this is Colston, statistically the best receiver in Saints’ history!
Eric Martin is next on the list, with 532 catches as a member of the Saints.
In his rookie year, back in 1985, Martin had 35 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns.
Yes, 1985 was the final year of the Bum Phillips era, so the Saints weren’t exactly a passing football team, but Thomas is considerably ahead of where Martin was.
Joe Horn ranks third on the Saints’ all-time receptions list, with 523.
In Horn’s first year with the Saints, back in 2000, he had 94 catches for 1,340 yards and 8 touchdowns.
It should be pointed out, however, that Horn came to the Saints as a free agent, after spending 4 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
You never know, but you would think that Thomas will be even better in his 5th NFL season.
Lance Moore ranks fourth, with 346 catches as a member of the Saints.
In his rookie season in a New Orleans uniform, in 2006, Moore caught one pass for 10 yards and no scores.
Danny Abramowicz ranks fifth on the list, with 309 receptions as a member of the Saints.
In his rookie year, in 1967, Abramowicz tallied 50 catches for 721 yards and six touchdowns.
Quinn Early, with 270 receptions, ranks 6th.
In 1991, his first year with the Saints, Early had 22 catches for 337 yards and two touchdowns.
Devery Henderson, with 245 receptions, ranks 7th.
In 2004, his first year with the Saints, Henderson only played in one game, so we go to 2005, win which he caught 18 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns over his first 11 games in that season.
Donte’ Stallworth, with 195 receptions, is next on the list, ranking 8th.
In 1992, his first year with the Saints, Stallworth had 24 catches for 315 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Brandin Cooks, with 188 receptions, is 9th on the list.
Cooks is an interesting comparison to Thomas, because he’s so recent.
In 2014, his rookie year with the Saints, through 10 games, Cooks had 53 catches for 550 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Cooks was injured was the final 6 games of 2014, and finished with those numbers.
Finally, Wes Chandler ranks 10th on the list, with 182 receptions.
In 1978, his rookie year with the Saints, Chandler had 35 catches for 472 yards and two touchdowns.
When you compare Thomas’ numbers to the best Saints’ receivers of all-time, you understand just how good he’s been in his rookie year, and you tend to get just a tad excited about the future.