Confirmed: Michael Thomas is pretty good at catching footballs. In addition to shattering records, the New Orleans Saints receiver led the NFL in perhaps one of the most telling statistics in the sport: first down receptions.

According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas led the NFL in first down receptions with 92. Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones and Houston Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins finished second and third in the same category, with 76 and 68 first down receptions, respectively.

Thomas’ productivity in terms of first down receptions should come as no surprise. He led the NFL in targets in 2019 with 185 and receptions with 149. He didn’t just lead the NFL in 2019 in catches, his 149 receptions are the most all-time in a single-season.

Thomas made his third-straight Pro Bowl and second-straight first-team All-Pro in 2019. He proved to be an unguardable force (as his social media would tell you), no matter if he played out-wide or in the slot. Whether it was Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill throwing to him, Thomas was productive.

Thomas will continue to be productive in New Orleans for the foreseeable future. Before his record-breaking 2019 campaign, the Saints locked him up to a five-year, $100 million contract with $61 million guaranteed. Considering his age (26), he still has a lot of football to play and even some improvements to make, despite his 99 overall rating in “Madden 20.”

What else is there to say about Michael Thomas? There is a reason why the Saints paid him before the NFL season: he’s an elite force with numbers very few could replicate.

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Rashan Gary, Adrian Amos, Packers

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