There have been a number of receivers under 6-0 that haven’t lasted too long in the NFL. A high throw on a crossing pattern across the middle can result in a hit by a cornerback that will level the would-be receiver, often sending him to the sideline for relief from the pain of such a hit.
But 5-8 Mike Thomas hasn’t let size become an issue with his pass-catching skills. It’s something he’s had to battle throughout a highly successful college career at Arizona and now again as a second-year pro in the NFL. When asked about people equating being small with height and not necessarily with build, Thomas was quick to respond.
“Obviously with my stature, I’ve become immune to it. In all my life, throughout college, throughout high school, everywhere I’ve been, it’s always been an issue,” Thomas said. “I can’t do anything about it. I do what I can to the best of my abilities.
“I have the characteristics of a six-foot-two guy. I’ve got the long limbs and long legs. My teammates crack jokes on me all the time because I’ve got a short torso. That’s really where my little height deficiency comes in.
“I go out there and play with confidence. I play with swagger. I have fun with it.”
Thomas actually doesn’t look that short if you were to lump the Jaguars’ receivers together. The top five receivers on the club have an average height of 5-11 1/2, which puts Thomas within range of everyone else.
It’s been his play in training camp, especially in the two days that the Jaguars engaged in a scrimmage with the Atlanta Falcons that has quarterback David Garrard excited about the second-year pro.
“We continue to talk about him because he continues to make plays. I told him during one of the periods (in the Atlanta practices) that if he keeps making those plays, I’m going to keep throwing the ball to him. That’s the truth,” Garrard said.
“We are looking for someone to separate and really take that two spot. Hopefully his confidence continues to grow and we can solidify the No. two spot.”