It happened later than some thought it should’ve, but, with the 50th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Patriots finally gave Mac Jones a new receiver to work with.
New England traded up in the second round to select Tyquan Thornton, a speedy wideout from Baylor. Thornton, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 181 pounds, ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any receiver at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, although he lacks the quickness and build the Patriots typically target in receivers.
During a conference call with Patriots reporters, Thornton offered his initial thoughts on playing with Jones.
“I watched him at Alabama,” Thornton said. “He’s a stud, man. He plays at a high level. He’s a great quarterback and I’m excited to get to work with him.”
Thornton caught 62 balls for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for Baylor. He’ll join a Patriots receiver depth chart that already includes DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and, for the time being, N’Keal Harry.
The selection of Thornton already is proving to be a controversial one, with multiple draft experts suggesting he could’ve been available later in the draft. However, additional reporting indicates the 21-year-old wouldn’t have lasted past the 53rd pick. The Patriots originally owned the 54th pick, which they sent to the Kansas City Chiefs as part of the trade to move up to No. 50.
Thornton told reporters that he models his game after Las Vegas Raiders superstar Davante Adams, perhaps the best receiver in football.