Here, we explore the similarities between the Cincinnati Bengals’ second-round draft pick, Tee Higgins, and Saint’s star Michael Thomas.
New Orleans Saints superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas saw five players at his position go off the board before his name was called. Now, the former Ohio State Buckeye is arguably the best wideout in the league.
Much like Thomas, Higgins had to wait for a number of other receivers to be selected before it was his turn to receive a call from one of the NFL’s head coaches. Six other pass catchers were drafted before him, to be exact. Both were overlooked and criminally under-rated in their respective classes.
Their frames are nearly identical as well. Thomas comes in at 6’3, 212-pounds, while Higgins measures out to be 6’4, 215-pounds.
Of course, you can’t talk measurements without discussing athletic testing as well. The 40-yard dash times are strikingly similar, with Thomas clocking in at 4.57 seconds and Higgins earning a time of 4.54 seconds. That’s before getting to the similarities in broad jump (10’6″ for Thomas, 10’3″ for Higgins) and vertical jump (35″ for Thomas, 31″ for Higgins).
Their respective college careers line up nicely as well. Both played three years at powerhouse college football programs and entered the draft after their junior year at the ages of 22 and 21, respectively.
The college production isn’t too far off either, although Higgins actually had a better career in that aspect. Thomas reeled in 9 touchdowns for nearly 800 yards in his final collegiate campaign, while Higgins secured 1,167 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns to match.
If you take into account that Higgins was playing with one of the best quarterback prospects in recent history (Trevor Lawrence) and Thomas was playing with a J.T. Barrett, who struggled through the air at times, it’s reasonable to think the difference in signal-callers could account for the discrepancy in numbers.
Finally, you can’t forget how similar their playing styles are. Both are big-bodied receivers that like to go up, over the top of defenders, and utilize their massive catch-radius to secure the ball. Each is sure-handed and rarely drop passes. Neither are burners speed-wise but rather, they create separation with their long strides.
It’s impractical to place the expectation on Higgins to be as good as Thomas is. However, the two have many similarities in their path to the league. From their collegiate career, playing style, measurements, pre-draft ranking, and everything in between, the duo looks a lot alike.
Tee Higgins looks to be a big part of the Bengals’ offensive attack in year one, and he’ll aim to soak up all the knowledge he can from another star receiver he has a lot in common with, A.J. Green.