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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Southern Mississippi WR Mike Thomas

Not to be confused with Michael Thomas from Ohio State.

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Assuming that no blue chip prospect like Leonte Carroo falls to 60, the Patriots will wait until the 3rd round to get their WR since that's where the meat of the draft is at the position. There are a lot of potential options in the 3rd/4th round including Nelson Spruce, Rishard Higgins, Mike Thomas, and Malcolm Mitchell. I have those guys going in the 80-100 range in the draft. Thomas was one of the few people that deserved a combine invite but didn't get it. Here's a scouting report from Alex Reno from Pride of Detroit. There is some good stuff on there to look at.

Thomas is more of a vertical threat than the WRs currently on the Patriots roster. The Patriots are in need of an outside WR whose route tree includes vertical routes such as posts, corners, and fly routes. The Patriots are fine with the underneath stuff to Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, and Danny Amendola and they could sign a veteran WR to replace LaFell or Amendola. The offense will still be good in 2016 with Tom Brady at the controls and better health at the other 10 positions, but the team still could look to add a dimension to the offense.

The primary X receiver on the team is Brandon LaFell, but they also have Aaron Dobson as a potential option in 2016. Dobson is in a do or die moment for his Patriots career that has been marred by injuries and inconsistencies. It's unlikely that Thomas will be able to contribute on Day 1 in the offense and may need a few games before becoming a potential weapon on the perimeter. He has solid route running skills, has excellent body control (ask Louisiana Tech), and can separate downfield, which are nice traits for a future perimeter receiver.

At Southern Miss, Thomas caught 73 passes for 1391 yards and 14 TD. Those are impressive numbers that somewhat dispels the competition question. His 19.6 YPR is the best mark for any FBS player with 65+ catches. Thomas is a clear-cut Day 2 prospect despite the lack of combine invite. His athleticism gives him a high ceiling and could grow into the Patriots #1 receiver if he's able to develop with Brady and injuries don't derail him in the formative stages like with Aaron Dobson. Rich had him mocked at 92nd overall after deciphering Mike Mayock's comments on the Patriots.