No team has ever said, “we have too many talented wideouts.” It’s nonsensical just writing it. Be sure Carolina Panthers General Manager, Dave Gettleman, will never say it. Even after boasting the league’s top offense and now re-adding 6’6 freak of nature, Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina still appears enamored with size. Gettleman likes boys, and it’s why Carolina is looking at Ohio State’s Michael Thomas. It’s a name who has us all scrambling to the C3 Carolina Panthers Draft Guide to look up his measurable and his stats.
Thomas is 6’3 210 pounds and plays his size! Panthers fans will love to know he is a natural hands catcher who snatches the ball (and Tony he caught a ball from a man nicknamed 12 gauge, so he can catch a speeding bullet). Thomas snags the ball and turns up field with ease, and I would be one to call his body control elite. He only ran a 4.55 at the combine, but he really gets up to his top gear quickly. He works great out of sudden breaks and the stop-go game is where he really earns his money.
I would like to see him pull the ball into his body a bit more as harder hitting DBs will look to jar the ball loose. He also is not the type of guy who extends out of his catch radius, which could limit his ability and get him into trouble in the slot as if the ball goes past him.
One thing that comes into question with Thomas is he really may have been in the wrong college system. Ohio State is more of a short route run after the catch team, so his full catch radius was never really tested because he had never worked far from the line. He also had very inconsistent QB play in college. I feel he is much better at using his full-catch radius than the tape shows because the ball was either in the numbers of just crazy off target.
As a Panther, he would be used much like Fitzgerald was used in Arizona last year. He will play the role of a big slot guy who has great hands for 3rd down. He also will benefit from the space the two giants provide when they line up outside. He has the hands and run after catch ability we want. Teams will need to work with him to diligently to squeeze out his total potential because he was used as just a regular receiver at OSU. Urban Myer’s staff really only scraped the surface of what he could be one day! I have him rated as an early 2nd round guy who could really sneak into Round 1 for teams like the Bengals or Chiefs. If the Panthers take him Round 1, I would be happy. But I would be ecstatic if they can get him for a 2nd round value.
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JP "The Pope" Tremarzo