The Patriots May Have Found a Steal In Jeff Thomas

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The Patriots did not draft a wide receiver in this year's NFL Draft, a draft that was very wide receiver heavy.  The team has a need at receiver mainly to bring in youth to the position and after the NFL Draft they did just that.  One of the players the team signed was Miami wideout Jeff Thomas and he might be the biggest steal of the undrafted free agent market. 

Photo courtesy of miamiherald.com
During his collegiate career Thomas made 83 receptions and had 1,316 yards while scoring eight touchdowns.  He was also a player that expected to hear his name called during the NFL Draft, but unfortunately he didn’t.  The former Hurricane wide receiver had some off the field problems which likely led to him not being drafted.  Thomas coming to New England will be the fresh start the flashy wide receiver will be looking for and they’ll be plenty of opportunities in Foxboro. 

The Patriots have never been shy about bringing players into camp that have had off the field problems in the past.  Bill Belichick will command the best out of his players and it will be up to Thomas to bring his "A" game to New England if he wants to crack this roster. 

The team has brought in Chad Johnson, Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Albert Haynesworth and most recently Antonio Brown.  While Thomas doesn’t carry the name recognition those players do, the 5’8 and 170 lb slot receiver will bring his blazing speed to this Patriots offense led by Jarrett Stidham this season.  If Thomas makes this Patriots team, he could fill the void of what Danny Amendola provided during his time with the team.  Being able to have another receiver who is fast, and I mean fast, and giving the team another option as a kick returner could prove beneficial for the roster. 

The Patriots finished ninth last season in the NFL in punt returns last season.  They averaged eight years per return using both Mohammad Sanu and Gunner Olszewski.  The Pats finished 17th in kick returns last season and running back Brandon Bolden was the primary kick returner for the team.  Thomas could provide a shot in the arm on special teams and his speed would be welcomed on kick and punt returns. 

As the Patriots retool this roster, Thomas could bring a breath of fresh air to this receiving corps.  The team will have Julian Edelman, a healthier Sanu, new addition Marqise Lee and N’Keal Harry coming off a down first year.  He will have competition in camp, the team has also signed former Auburn wide receiver Will Hastings, who has a rapport with Stidham, Mississippi State wideout Isaish Zuber and Syracuse’s Sean Riley.

The signing of Thomas is a good move for a team that has struggled drafting receivers the last couple of years.  Thomas will need to show the Patriots, especially Belichick, that he can put the off the field stuff behind him and make an impact for this years team.  He was an explosive player in college and the thought of that explosiveness in New England is exciting.  He just needs to be all in and committed and if so, the Patriots may have a steal and kudos to the front office for bringing him into camp. 



Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: The Patriots May Have Found a Steal In Jeff Thomas
The Patriots May Have Found a Steal In Jeff Thomas
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