Chiefs Name De’Anthony Thomas Rookie of the Year


The Kansas City Chiefs named DAT Rookie of the Year (Mack Lee Hill Award) at the annual 101 Awards Banquet in Kansas City on Saturday. When DAT touched the ball for the Chiefs he was productive, but both he and Jamaal Charles seemed to be underused at times and the Kansas City press was critical at times. He was special returning punts and good in the modified slot Kansas City used him in to spread the defense.

Production Earns DAT Rookie of the Year

Mar 13, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back De Anthony Thomas works out in front of NFL scouts during the Oregon Pro Day at the Moshofsky Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

In DAT’s first year as a Chief he did a little bit of everything. He carried the ball 14 times for 113 yards and 1 touchdown, caught 23 of the 31 passes thrown his way gaining 156 yards. Where he clearly gave the Chiefs a noted advantage was at punt return where he was 2nd in the league in yards with 405 and 3rd in the league with an average of 11.9 per return. He added a touchdown against Oakland. As a kick returner he was behind Knile Davis on the depth chart but he did have 428 yards on 14 attempts including a long return of 78 yards.

The majority of Thomas’ receptions came on bubble screens, but in the last game of the season he caught a 30 yard pass from Chase Daniel (Chiefs backup QB) in tight coverage. This further fueled the argument that Alex Smith (Chiefs starter) feared throwing the deep pass. In an earlier game Smith missed a wide open Thomas running a wheel route, overthrowing him by quite a bit.

101 Awards Feature the Very Best In The NFL

The Chiefs host the 101 Awards but it is considered one of the very best in the NFL. In addition to the Chiefs Mack Lee Hill Award, they also award the Chiefs MVP (Derrick Thomas Award). But beyond that the NFL is recognized awarding AFC and NFC Offensive, Defensive Players of the Year and Coaches of the Year for each conference. Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, Richard Sherman, Bill Belichick, Bruce Arians and Paul Tagliabue were all honored along with De’Anthony at the award show.

So one year after leaving Oregon early for the NFL, De’Anthony Thomas finds himself rubbing shoulders with the best the NFL has to offer. There’s no denying his athletic ability but what this award shows is his desire to learn and help his team in whatever way he can, which seems to be his mantra.