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New Orleans Saints 2016 season recap: Michael Thomas

Receiver from Ohio State had outstanding rookie campaign

A look at Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas throughout the 2016 season.

First he brought the talk, by virtue of owning a Twitter handle (@cantguardMike) that welcomed a bull's-eye.

Then he brought the walk, producing highlight catch after highlight catch in training camp while announcing – without actually having to say the words – that he would be a force. Immediately.

Rookie Michael Thomas never slowed down this season while submitting the most productive year ever by a New Orleans Saints rookie receiver. He led the team with a franchise rookie-record 92 catches, and also set rookie marks for receiving yards (1,137) and touchdowns (nine).

The characteristics and mental and physical skills that the Saints coveted when they made him a second-round draft pick (No. 47 overall) were on full display last season, as Thomas showed no fear while quickly acclimating to the NFL from Ohio State.

BEST GAME:Thomas possibly saved his best for last: The season finale against Atlanta. Needing 19 yards to become the Saints' first 1,000-yard rookie since Marques Colstonin 2006, Thomas tied his season high of 10 catches, for a career-high 156 yards and a touchdown. In two games against the Falcons he caught 17 passes for 227 yards and two scores.

BEST QUOTE:"I think one of his great strengths is his ability to work and focus. He truly loves playing and so, gamedays are that much more important. He's very competitive. I think he's handled the transition very well. Very well. When you draft a player, you're certain of a few things and yet, there are some uncertainties to a number of things.

"Fortunately, his competitive nature and his ability to focus on just playing receiver and his ability to focus on each rep – it's hard for him to have a walkthrough. He's one of those guys, he's jogging at least half speed, if not more, through everything he's doing. I would say his run after the catch, and we thought when we drafted this player that he had that, but I think he's tough when he catches the ball in space for any defender." – **Coach Sean Payton

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