Mike Thomas was brought in early this offseason to compete for a spot in the Bengals elite wide receiver corps. Arguably one of the only elite position groups for Cincinnati, Thomas wasn’t expect to crack the 53-man roster.
However, due to rookie Tee Higgins and speedster John Ross missing time, Thomas has stepped up in a big way as the Bengals training with pads on just got underway.
He’s become a go-to target for No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow as A.J. Green has also yet to practice in pads. Thomas was lined up with Green and Boyd earlier this week and has continued to make plays for the first team.
Yesterday, Thomas caught a touchdown pass from Joe Burrow according to the Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon.
Mike Thomas is in the early lead for 2020 camp MVP https://t.co/Jlv3Fwo5h5— Jake (@Jake_NFL) August 18, 2020
It’s not just one touchdown catch that makes you the early lead for camp MVP. Thomas has make multiple other plays while also earning the recognition of second-year head coach Zac Taylor.
Zac Taylor said he's been impressed with Auden Tate since Taylor arrived in Cincinnati. Has a great grasp of what the Bengals are trying to do. Also credits Mike Thomas' explosiveness— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 18, 2020
Taylor being impressed with Tate may not bode well for Thomas. After all, we know A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are a lock at receiver. Ross and Higgins are basically locked up as well.
Thomas will be going up against Tate, Damion Willis, and Alex Erickson, all of which were on the roster a season ago.
All four of them will need to combine for the final two receiver spots for the Bengals top-tier corps. The former Ram has a good chance to crack that final 53-man roster, especially if he’s already forming a connection with Burrow.
With injury having been an issue for Cincinnati several times throughout the last few seasons, keeping on a player with an early-camp connection could be of utmost importance.
Thomas, the former six-round pick, has quite a bit to prove in his stint with Cincinnati after recording just ten receptions in four years with the Rams. This is his time to show he belongs in the NFL, and he’s off to a great start with it.