As everyone had predicted, the New Orleans Saints selected a defensive end with their first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. They decided to pick defensive end Sheldon Rankins out of the University of Louisville. However, the Saints second round draft choice is what have the Who Dat Nation buzzing right now.
Many Saints insiders and draft experts around the league thought that the team would select another player to build up the defensive side of the ball, but head coach Sean Payton had other ideas. The Saints decided to select talented wide receiver Michael Thomas out of The Ohio State University with the 47th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. There were a lot of mixed emotions among Saints fans in regards to this selection.
Some fans wanted the team to continue selecting pass rushers to add depth to a defense that was ranked at the bottom of every defensive category in 2015. Sean Payton and the rest of the Saints front office had other plans when it came to the second round of this year’s NFL Draft.
The selection of Michael Thomas shows that Sean Payton is not sold on “Brandon Coleman filling the void that Marques Colston left behind.” Thomas, who is listed at 6’3 /212 lbs., could turn out to be a leaner and faster version of Marques Colston. Thomas can grab those deep balls that quarterback Drew Brees threw to players such as Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham when they wore the Black and Gold.
Michael Thomas is also able to catch passes over the middle and turn them into huge gains. Marques Colston was able to accomplish that as well, but he did not have the breakaway speed that second round selection Michael Thomas has. I always knew that in the back of my mind that Sean Payton had this guy on his radar going into this year’s draft.
The biggest benefit out of this pick is that the Saints did not have to move up in the draft to select Thomas. The other three marquee wide receivers in this year’s draft such as Laquon Treadwell, Corey Coleman, and Will Fuller had already been chosen, which led to Thomas being the best pick available at the position.
The only stumbling block that may hold Thomas back is understanding the terminology of Sean Payton’s system. Other than that, Drew Brees has a new target to deliver the football to in goal line situations. The possibilities of what this young man can do in this offense are endless.
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