2. Michael Thomas (2016 Season: 15 Appearances — 12 Starts)
AJ Brown: 52 Catches, 84 Targets, 1,051 Yards, 9 Total Touchdowns
Michael Thomas: 92 Catches, 121 Targets, 1,137 Yards, 9 Total Touchdowns
AJ Brown’s rookie season compares nicely to many current NFL stars– but not all of them.
Namely, ‘Stat God’ Michael Thomas, who was seeing heavy volume and doing plenty with it from the second he stepped into the league. Yes, Thomas’ 40 more receptions came on nearly 40 more targets, but the Saints receiver ended up catching 76% of his rookie year targets, compared to Brown’s 62%.
A more advanced look at the box scores will give a few advantages to AJ Brown. Thomas is pejoratively known by a few people as the king of six-yard routes, and he certainly looks the part in comparison to AJ Brown’s impressive 20.2 yards per reception numbers.
But in most big numbers, Michael Thomas’ rookie season takes the cake over Brown’s. But there might not be a rookie season more impressive than Thomas’, at least from a statistical perspective. Thomas had an insane amount of catches, an insane amount of targets– and a slight advantage in yards and receiving touchdowns.
Brown was more efficient with his catches than Thomas, but the rest of the numbers favor the Saints star.