Even if it takes them 10 years, eventually they're going to find someone who fits whatever the coach does.
At this point, by the time it get's to the point where they can move Thomas, Brees would be at the retiring point. Given that they aren't taking several deep shots down field and he's getting protected, Brees will pretty much be there the entire time. We can talk about how he's losing it all day but dinking and dunking with occasional mid range throws, he's still going to be the same ole Brees he's always been minus the deep throws
I don’t get it either. I have no problem putting him top-4 with Julio being the clear #1
ELITE THREE-YEAR PRODUCTION
Only Julio Jones (94.3) has earned a higher receiving grade than Thomas (93.2) among the 82 NFL wide receivers with at 900 routes run over the past three seasons (2006-18). Thomas also ranks third on the list in passer rating when targeted (116.8) and yards per route run (2.39), catching 352-of-448 targets for 4,210 yards, 202 first downs and 26 touchdowns in the process.
Thomas is also one of seven receivers with two single-season receiving grades above 90.0 in the PFF era (2006-18): Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall, AJ Green, Odell Beckham Jr. and Thomas are the only wideouts who lay claim to the feat. No second-year receiver has ever recorded a higher receiving grade in the PFF era (2006-18) than Thomas’ 91.6 in 2017, and the same can be said for third-year receivers. His 91.9 receiving grade in 2018 tops all 148 receivers with 50 or more targets as third-year players in the NFL.
Even Thomas’ biggest supporters entering the 2016 NFL Draft couldn’t have predicted such levels of success. He wasn’t highly regarded for his route-running ability or straight-line speed coming out of Ohio State, but he’s grown as a route-runner since entering the league, improving his releases and breaks while also expanding what was a sparse route tree with the Buckeyes.
Thomas’ 95.2 career receiving grade against single coverage ranks second among the 68 wideouts with 100 or more targets against such coverage since 2016. His 117.6 passer rating when targeted and 3.48 yards per route run average against single coverage over the three-year span rank third and fifth, respectively.
Where Thomas has proven to be at his best, regardless of the coverage type, is at the short and intermediate levels of the field. No receiver has earned a higher receiving grade on passes of 19 or fewer air yards than Thomas (93.6) since he entered the NFL in 2016. He also ranks sixth in yards per target (8.56) and fourth in percentage of targets resulting in a first down or touchdown (50.62%) among the 95 wideouts with at least 100 targets of such depths in the last three years.
Thomas has learned to create separation at all levels of the field with his release package and physicality while also continuing to impress with his contested-catch ability when he can’t break free from tight coverage. He can win his routes with or without yards of separation because he has some of the best hands in the NFL right now.
Catching 48-of-82 contested targets in his career, Thomas ranks second behind Minnesota Vikings’ Stefon Diggs in three-year contested-catch percentage at 58.54%. Diggs’ 65.52% contested-catch percentage on 58 targets leads in the NFL among the 73 NFL wideouts with 20 or more contested-catch opportunities since 2016.
Thomas has dropped just 2.76% of his 448 targets in his career, a rate that ranks third among the 59 wide receivers with at least 200 targets since 2016. Only Seattle Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin (2.46%) and Tyler Lockett (2.65%) have recorded lower drop rates in the three-year span. And Lockett only has 201 total targets in the three-year span, good for less than half of Thomas’ target total.
WINS CRITICAL DOWNS
Thomas’ elite receiving ability isn’t lost on critical downs, either. His sure-handedness and plus contested-catch ability have paid dividends on third and fourth downs and in the red zone over the years, and his play in the clutch has been among the NFL’s best since entering the league.
Among the 100 NFL wideouts with at least 100 routes run in the red zone in the last three seasons, Thomas ranks second behind Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams in receiving grade at 83.3. Not only has he dropped zero passes in the red zone, but Thomas has picked up a first down or scored on 54.29% of his red-zone targets, the third-highest mark among qualifying wide receivers since 2016.
His 90.1 receiving grade on third and fourth downs in his career ranks third among the 85 wideouts with 300 routes run on such downs in the last three years. Catching 86-of-118 targets for 1,026 yards, 61 first downs and six touchdowns on third and fourth downs since 2016, Thomas also ranks fourth in percentage of such targets resulting in a first down or touchdown (56.78%) among qualifiers in the three-year span.
Of the 72 receivers with at least 50 routes run in one-score games in the fourth quarter or overtime in the last three years, Thomas ranks second behind Julio Jones in receiving grade (92.1), fifth in yards per route run (3.48) and tied for second in passer rating when targeted (154.9). Oh, and he’s never recorded a drop in said situations.