The decision to trade up and draft Tyquan Thornton in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft raised a lot of eyebrows, but if you ask his college coaches, the New England Patriots don’t have anything to worry about.
Baylor coach Dave Aranda and offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes received a multitude of calls heading into the NFL Draft as teams were unsure how high Thornton should be selected. The wide receiver was on the radar of at least three other teams, including the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints.
“He was a riser,” Grimes told Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire. “There are guys that increase their stock within weeks of the draft, and I think (Thornton) was one of those guys. And how much is he going to rise is the question. And so everyone’s just making an estimated guess. ? I think the value of him was more than what some people realized.”
Thornton will have a lot to prove in OTAs and minicamps as the former Baylor receiver, while fast, is of slim There are still plenty of positives in Thornton’s game, but he will need to show he can make the transition from the Big 12 to the NFL in quick fashion.
“Would you be concerned about him being slight of build? Yeah, I think that’s a legitimate concern for any player, particularly as you move up the food chain,” Grimes said. “I do think he?s got the frame to put on some weight, and now that he?s a little bit older and a little bit more advanced in his career, maybe that will happen. But he has been a pretty durable player and hasn’t missed a lot of time due to injury.”
“I could see him being the home run threat there and someone that can open up the offense and stretch it out,” Aranda said. “I think there?s option routes underneath in the offense. There’s basic routes and compliments to running backs and timing routes. I think he can bring the ability to open it up and really stretch the sets and get those safeties further back and just open other things that are really at the core of what the offense was, particularly last year.”
The Patriots will need all the depth at receiver they can get as the AFC East has loaded up, and New England will have to do what it can to keep up and return to the postseason for the second year in a row.