Michael Thomas Is Off To The Best Start By Any Saints’ Receiver Ever
New Orleans Saints rookie Michael Thomas is off to the best start by a receiver in franchise history.
A second-round-draft pick out of Ohio St. back in April, Thomas, through the first 11 games of the 2016 season, has compiled 65 receptions for 789 yards, to go along with 7 touchdowns.
Exactly how impressive is that?
Well, let's take a look, comparing Thomas' numbers, through the Saints' first 11 games of this season, to those of the top 10 receivers in franchise history, in terms of receptions, 11 games into their Saints' careers.
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.
So, the list is for receivers only, and the 11 games count for the number of games the team played, and not necessarily the number of games the individual played in. So, if he was injured, and didn't play, it still counts as one game. Availability means something.
Marques Colston, who is the all-time leading receiver in team history, with 711 career receptions, had 54 catches for 869 yards and 7 touchdowns through his first 11 games, back in 2006.
So, Colston is comparable to Thomas, with more receiving yards, and the same amount of touchdowns, but Thomas still leads in receptions, by 11.
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.
Through the first 11 games of his time with the Saints, back in 1985, Martin had 28 catches for 421 yards and two 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 11 games with the Saints, back in 2000, he had 60 catches for 812 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Thomas beats Horn, in terms of number of receptions, 65-60, while Horn wins in receiving yards, 812-789, with touchdown catches are even, 7-7.
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 first 11 games in a New Orleans uniform, Moore caught 18 passes for 197 yards and no scores.
Danny Abramowicz ranks fifth on the list, with 309 receptions as a member of the Saints.
Through his first 11 games in New Orleans, back in 1967, Abramowicz tallied 43 catches for 577 yards and four 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.
Finally, Wes Chandler ranks 10th on the list, with 182 receptions.
In 1978, his first year with the Saints, through his first 11 games, Chandler had 17 catches for 272 yards and no 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.