The Patriots are adding some much-needed speed to their offense. With the No. 50 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, New England selected Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton. Bill Belichick's team traded up in the second round to select Thornton, striking a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs by sending them No. 54 overall and the 158th pick. 

Both of the Patriots first two selections in this draft have been on the offensive side of the ball as they continue to build around 2021 first-round quarterback Mac Jones. In the opening round on Thursday, New England took UT-Chattanooga guard Cole Strange to help protect Jones, and now Thornton will head to Foxborough to try and raise the ceiling of the passing attack. During his final year at Baylor, Thornton finished with 62 catches for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

What to know 

Need for speed: Simply put, Thornton is an absolute burner. His 4.28 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine was the fastest among all wideouts. That mark also tied him for the fourth-fastest time by a receiver dating to 2006. It also doesn't take long for the 21-year-old to reach that top speed as his 10-yard split was an impressive 1.41 seconds. 

May need to bulk up: While Thornton has world-class speed, he may need to bulk up as he makes this step into the NFL. At the combine, he measured in at 6-foot-2 and a very skinny 181 pounds. That makes him lighter than DeVante Parker, N'Keal Harry, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor

Where he fits in Pats offense 

Thornton will add a type of speed that this Patriots offense hasn't seen in years. He could eventually even unseat Nelson Agholor on the depth chart as they are projected to have similar roles, simply based on their skill set. Among the regular starters, Agholor had the highest average depth of target (14.2 yards) last season. With Thornton possessing such blazing speed, he could be better suited for those deep targets in 2022. 

That ability may also help Mac Jones improve his deep ball. He completed just 38.1% of his throws 20+ yards down the field last season (ranked 16th among eligible QBs) and had a passer rating of 72.4 (20th), according to Pro Football Focus. By bringing in elite speed, it could present easier opportunities to connect down the field. 

Grade: A-

Chris Trapasso: Major sleeper at WR. Not just 4.28 fast. Runs crisp, well-sold routes. Very natural hands catcher. Snatches the ball away from his frame effortlessly. This is precisely what the Patriots needed offensively. Spindly though. Not costly to move up.

Scouting report

Rating: 75.05 (Chance to start)

Pro Comparison: Robby Anderson


Somewhat spindly legitimate downfield burner with adequate releases because of his quickness. His second gear is fast; his top gear is outstanding. Long-striding glider. Very natural. Was held back by QB play in his final season at Baylor. Love his natural hands. Plucks the ball away from his frame. Will track it beautifully over his shoulder. The deep speed is real and natural hands are very enticing as a sizable downfield option.


Not a YAC or contested-catch type. More physical cornerbacks will get into his frame and impede him at the outset of his route, but he isn't incredibly skinny.


  • First among WRs at the combine in 40-yard dash (4.28 seconds)
  • 2021: All-Big 12 second team