Kansas City Chiefs: Time for De’Anthony Thomas to shine in 2017

De'Anthony Thomas #13 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
De'Anthony Thomas #13 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted De’Anthony Thomas in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and the guy really hasn’t accomplished much during his time in Kansas City. Is that all going to change this year?

With the recent news that the Kansas City Chiefs wouldn’t be having Tyreek Hill handle kick returns this season, the immediate question becomes: Who will take over in that role? The easiest answer is none other than De’Anthony Thomas.

Remember De’Anthony Thomas? He was that speedy speedster at the University of Oregon who could flat out fly. Kansas City was pretty pumped to have Thomas on their roster, but the former Duck went on to disappoint greatly during his first three years in the league.

His rookie year in 2014 was his best season with him racking up 156 receiving yards and 113 rushing yards along with a rushing touchdown. Thomas also had a punt return for a touchdown during his rookie campaign.

From there, the De’Anthony Thomas Experiment took a weird turn. The former fourth rounder had more touchdowns in year two, but he disappeared in the last few games of the year and a lot of fans thought he might be done in the NFL as a result.

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In 2016, however, Thomas made the final round of cuts and went on to disappoint for the team. His role seemed to have been diminished with the acquisition of Tyreek Hill, but now that Hill will be moving into a top receiver role for the Chiefs, Thomas should have a big role with the team once again.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub said during training camp that Thomas is probably the toughest player on the Chiefs team. That’s always nice to hear about a player who is likely getting one final shot to prove his worth to this organization.

Thomas has consistently been returning kicks during his career, but when Hill broke onto the scene last year, it was tough to defend the decision to put Thomas in that role permanently. Now, however, Thomas should be able to go back to the thing that made him appealing to the Chiefs in the first place.

Kansas City has always been a force to be reckoned with on special teams and their return game is a huge part in that. Thomas has only had one return touchdown during his three-year career, but there should be several more added to that in 2017. Thomas isn’t as fast as Hill, but as we all saw in the Denver game, he can more than keep up with the speedster.

Expect good things from De’Anthony Thomas this year, folks. He’s due for a good year and that should excite this fan base.