Patriots Trade Up In Second Round, Draft Receiver Tyquan Thornton

Thornton is really, really fast


Apr 29, 2022

The Patriots on Thursday swung a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to move back in the first round. On Friday, they did the opposite, trading with the Chiefs to move up in the second round.

And, with the 50th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, New England selected Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton.

Perhaps the speediest receiver in the draft, Thornton posted the fastest 40-yard-dash time at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. He caught 62 balls for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for Baylor.

However, like they did in the first round, the Patriots might’ve reached for a prospect who could’ve been available later in the draft. Thornton generally was expected to be drafted around the fourth round, perhaps as high as the third round.

Here’s what NFL Media draft expert Lance Zierlein wrote of the 6-foot-2, 181-pound Thornton before the draft:

There is a lot to like about Thornton’s game, including his instincts, long speed and ability to create separation on the move. He’s a vertical threat with the speed and poise to win deep and has an excellent feel for maintaining spacing when working against zone coverage. He’s skinny and linear, which is a bad combination in defeating strong press-man corners on the next level. The poise and catch radius will work in his favor, but the success rate on contested catches will be lower than teams like, based upon his history and physical traits. Wideouts with his size profile have struggled mightily to succeed in the league, but Thornton’s speed and talent make him worthy of a shot on Day 3.

As for the trade, New England sent the 54th (second round) and 158th (fifth round) picks to the Cheifs.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images
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