The Patriots aren’t known for developing wide receiver talent. In fact, they’re known for doing the exact opposite.
That might all change this year.
Despite a pedestrian rookie season, wide receiver Tyquan Thornton showed flashes in 2022 and is already entering the national spotlight in 2023. NFL Network’s Peter Schrager listed the former second-round pick out of Baylor as a breakout candidate heading into this season:
When Thornton shined during his rookie training camp, many thought New England had hit a home run. This sentiment quickly changed after he broke his collarbone in a preseason game and missed the beginning of his rookie year. The narrative instead changed to questions about his size and injury proneness.
This was something the wide receiver took with him this offseason. Thornton told the media last week that he worked on getting stronger and adding muscle over the last few months in order to be able to play a full season.
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Though maybe it should be taken with a grain of salt, he once again flashed at OTAs on Wednesday. Thornton was heavily involved and constantly schemed up for touches by offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. He showed off his speed during a skeleton drill where he dusted cornerback Myles Bryant for a touchdown from Mac Jones. Here’s the clip:
So will he break out in 2023? Only time will tell. New England is back on the practice field on Tuesday where we’ll see if he’s the focal point once again.