The Patriots shocked everyone in the world ( except me , so I was a couple rounds off shoot me ) once again in the NFL Draft taking Cole Strange in the first round. Then doubled down by trading up to take Tyquan Thornton AKA ” The Slim Reaper ” in Rd 2 at number 50 overall. Cole Strange was penciled in as the starting left guard before the ink was dry on his selection card. Thornton is developing into another story.
Tyquan Thornton + Mac Jones = 6 pic.twitter.com/ImeOXjuHqA — ︎Pierce Downey (@patsdowney) May 1, 2022
Maybe Not Mass Destruction
But for a team that according to the great unwashed of both Boston and the National media says lacks “weapons” the Baylor speedster may be on the outside looking in come the second Sunday of September when the Patriots face off against the Dolphins in the season opener down in Miami. Yes people, The Pats have weapons , can Thornton crack the opening day lineup ? or will September 11th be the first of many healthy scratches ? Is this Patriots offense too talented at the WR spot for the rookie to impact Bill’s game day decisions ? Can he show he can contribute in more areas than one? That’s a lot of question marks.
Like fellow Patriot DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton is a slant machine Extends and adjusts to throws outside his frame while showing the toughness + concentration to finish thru contact Also fights for extra yards and can hit home-runs if you give him too much space pic.twitter.com/JKrIb5Z8Ie — Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) April 30, 2022
The Depth Chart
As of right now Thornton sits behind proven NFL talent. The depth chart, while not loaded with what you would call superstars or All-Pro level players, does have high hurdles for Tyquan to jump over. Proven grown ass men who have battled not just for roster spots but for balls thrown by NFL quarterbacks and yards to move markers. Devante Parker – Nelson Agholor – Kendrick Bourne, all more seasoned and all more talented. And Depth in Jakobi Meyers AKA Mr. Reliable. Kristian Wilkerson and Tre Nixon who have time in the playbook and in meeting rooms. This offense even paired down dumbed down whatever you want to call it is not drawing a few lines in the dirt. This playbook is vast and complicated. Can Thornton pick up enough to contribute more than drag a safety away to open up the middle of the field ?
Looks like #Patriots second-round pick Tyquan Thornton is signing his rookie contract today. The Pats reportedly signed first-rounder Cole Strange yesterday, so only Bailey Zappe remains unsigned. pic.twitter.com/ZgnLwcFwBl — Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) June 23, 2022
Size Does Matter
While most people looking at Thornton singing his contact on Thursday were commenting on his supple wrists, I was focusing on the rest of the man’s entire build. He is listed at 6’2 180 lbs. He may have the speed but does he have the size to get off the line of scrimmage against press coverage ? Does he have the strength to body defensive backs for position ? Can he keep from being pushed around ? Can he play Special Teams ? We still don’t know. Talk around the water tanks at Gillette seem to be focusing on just this. He needs to get bigger, he needs to get stronger. And he needs to be able to be more than a one trick pony. Can he lay to rest the stigma that Bill can’t draft Wideouts ? I know what I wrote a few weeks ago fly’s in the face of some of the things I said here. But the questions need to be asked.
As always you can Follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207