The New England Patriots are bringing in former Miami Hurricanes speedy wide receiver, Jeff Thomas, as an undrafted rookie free agent.
Thomas finished his collegiate career collecting 83 receptions for 1,316 yards while averaging 15.9 yards per catch and scoring eight touchdowns. He also ran a 4.45 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine and expected to get selected during the three-day NFL Draft this past week but unfortunately did not hear his name get called.
Many people believe that Thomas didn’t get drafted due to his off-field issues that have led to him being suspended multiple times during his three years in Miami. If Thomas expects to even have a chance to make the roster in New England, he’s going to have to clean up his act and respect the authority of Bill Belichick and his staff.
Belichick and the New England Patriots are not frightened of the players who have a bad or a tough background if they feel those players are worthy enough to help the team. But in the past, the Patriots have taken a chance and failed on controversial players like Chad Johnson, Albert Haynseworth, and Antonio Brown.
While at Miami, Thomas (5’8 and 170 lbs) primarily played as the slot receiver and in off-line positioning. He has a calm approach with great footwork, and he understands how to run intricate routes to go along with his concentration, blazing speed, and instinctive skills as a capable wideout.
Thomas has the potential to be a great partner to Julian Edelman in the receiving game — similar to how Danny Amendola complemented Edelman for five seasons from 2013-2017, when he became an integral piece on the Patriots offense.
Thomas also presents great field awareness — which allows him to make some of the special plays that he has made in the past. He also is incredibly dangerous as a returner with open space in front of him, as he’s totaled 1,219 yards (22.6 avg) on 52 kick returns.
Thomas, who also has experience as a kick/punt returner, can try to set himself apart from the rest of the receivers who are going to be battling for a roster spot by being an effective special teams player. Belichick seems to always find a roster spot for a player who is willing to get after it on special teams.
Bringing in Thomas would be a great addition to this young and retooling Patriots receiving core. If Thomas makes the team, he has the potential to make an immediate impact in the passing game. It is worth mentioning that the Patriots currently have five undrafted wide receivers on their roster who all could hold a different type of role for the Patriots in 2020.
After a college career that was on the verge of ending, Thomas is now in position to earn himself a roster spot on the New England Patriots, who are trying to rebuild and upgrade their receiving group.