How will the New Orleans Saints replace Michael Thomas?
1. David Bell, WR, Purdue
David Bell comes in at No. 1 on this list because he is the most like Michael Thomas. The former Boilermaker dominated as an outside threat from the first day he stepped onto the field. In his freshman season, Bell finished with over 1,000-yards and seven touchdowns.
During a COVID riddled sophomore season (six games played), he was on pace for 1,200 and 16-touchdowns. During his junior season, Bell totaled 1,286-yards through the air with six touchdowns and 13.8 yards per catch.
What makes Bell the closest thing to Michael Thomas is his ability to play the boundary and work the middle of the field. The 6-2 205-pound wideout shows excellent ball skills and an excellent catch radius. He has long arms, or he plays that way when he plucks the ball out of the air. He’s tenacious across the middle of the field, doesn’t care about taking big hits.
At the line of scrimmage, he shows quick, strong hands and power to fight through press coverage. When route running, he has enough start-and-stop ability to set defenders up. His best trait is the snap at the top of the route. He’s savvy and does a great job getting open.
Bell is projected as an early Day 2 prospect with a low floor and high ceiling. He isn’t getting talked about enough, but that should change.