Patriots select WR Tyquan Thornton

tims4wins

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Isn't the goal to find the best guy, though?

If the bar is, "Well, what can you do, you'll never get the best," then maybe that's why the Pats drafting of WR is always off.
I think it's more that you want the best guy you can get for your team / system, and if other guys also happen to succeed, you can't control that.

Like if the Pats had drafted Deebo Samuel, it doesn't mean that they should have drafted DK because he is better (I realize that Deebo is probably better - just using an example).
 

Ferm Sheller

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KC dropped 4 spots in the second round and then took a WR, effectively allowing three other teams to take WRs ahead of their pick. Feel like maybe teams are just guessing here. Why would KC risk losing the WR they wanted in exchange for some lousy late round pick?
 

johnmd20

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I think it's more that you want the best guy you can get for your team / system, and if other guys also happen to succeed, you can't control that.

Like if the Pats had drafted Deebo Samuel, it doesn't mean that they should have drafted DK because he is better (I realize that Deebo is probably better - just using an example).
The Patriots drafted neither Deebo nor DK, tho.
 

Traut

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KC dropped 4 spots in the second round and then took a WR, effectively allowing three other teams to take WRs ahead of their pick. Feel like maybe teams are just guessing here. Why would KC risk losing the WR they wanted in exchange for some lousy late round pick?
The draft is all guessing. What usually happens in a situation like this is KC graded all the guys similarly and decided to gain extra draft capital. And the Patriots liked him and moved up knowing there was going to be a run on receivers.

This stuff happens all of the time.
 

Ed Hillel

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KC dropped 4 spots in the second round and then took a WR, effectively allowing three other teams to take WRs ahead of their pick. Feel like maybe teams are just guessing here. Why would KC risk losing the WR they wanted in exchange for some lousy late round pick?
Maybe because they figured nobody would take someone with a 4th round grade? Who knows.
 

Ferm Sheller

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The draft is all guessing. What usually happens in a situation like this is KC graded all the guys similarly and decided to gain extra draft capital. And the Patriots liked him and moved up knowing there was going to be a run on receivers.

This stuff happens all of the time.
Right, all I'm really saying is that while we question and criticize Pats picks, other teams aren't necessarily enamored with/sure about the guys that they're taking at a similar position in the draft.
 

tims4wins

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The Patriots drafted neither Deebo nor DK, tho.
Fine - pretend Harry was actually good.

The point is that you can’t worry about whether another player will succeed elsewhere. All that matters is the player you choose succeeds for you.

Obviously that didn’t happen with Harry. Hopefully it will with Thornton.
 

Gash Prex

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Unless the measurements I’m seeing are completely off he has the same height and weight numbers as Jameson Williams and I didn’t see a lot of concern about his build beyond that he could use some additional weight. The “no WR has ever succeeded at that height and weight” seems strange
 

j44thor

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How about Davonta Smith?
6-0” 170 vs 6-2” 181
Devonta might have a similar build but was/is known as an elite route runner. He didn't test at the combine due to covid but I would have been willing to bet he would have crushed Thornton in the 3 cone while running in the 4.4s which is more than adequate for a productive WR. Thornton is one of the weirdest picks I can recall NE making in recent years. Rail thin burner with one of the worst 3 cones in the class. I guess he could be a decent decoy to keep S honest if the plan is to emphasize the running game.
 

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Devonta might have a similar build but was/is known as an elite route runner. He didn't test at the combine due to covid but I would have been willing to bet he would have crushed Thornton in the 3 cone while running in the 4.4s which is more than adequate for a productive WR. Thornton is one of the weirdest picks I can recall NE making in recent years. Rail thin burner with one of the worst 3 cones in the class. I guess he could be a decent decoy to keep S honest if the plan is to emphasize the running game.
I was impressed with how Thornton was getting a big cushion and over and over ran right past the coverage anyway. Then his quarterback would underthrow by ten yards and he would come back to the ball and make the catch. Good highlights that would have been long touchdowns if his QB could throw any kind of deep ball.

Mac Jones isn't known for a great deep ball, but Thornton's college QB makes Jones look like Aaron Rodgers out there.
 

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Isn't the goal to find the best guy, though?

If the bar is, "Well, what can you do, you'll never get the best," then maybe that's why the Pats drafting of WR is always off.
The Pats’ goal should definitely be to get the best, but I was speaking to something else.

Let’s assume that there isn’t a huge difference in the chances of success for each of those receivers. There could be a noticeable, even moderate, difference, but let’s just say it’s not chasmic. Seems a fair assumption given what we know (and don’t).

Given that, the most likely outcome is that a few years from now, the person looking to say “so and so went two picks later and we could’ve had them” will be able to do so. But that was always going to be the case, meaning that, barring enormous risk discrepancy, Thornton vs field of three other receivers is always going to favor the field.
 

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Unless the measurements I’m seeing are completely off he has the same height and weight numbers as Jameson Williams and I didn’t see a lot of concern about his build beyond that he could use some additional weight. The “no WR has ever succeeded at that height and weight” seems strange
Unless you use six feet as some magic marker, there have been tons of skinny wide receivers in the league. Desean Jackson, DeVonta Smith, Emmanuel Sanders, Sean Jefferson.
 

rodderick

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Unless you use six feet as some magic marker, there have been tons of skinny wide receivers in the league. Desean Jackson, DeVonta Smith, Emmanuel Sanders, Sean Jefferson.
It's one thing to be 5'10, 175 like Desean Jackson or 5'11, 180 like Emmanuel Sanders. It's a completely different thing to be 6'3, 181. DeVonta Smith is the comp and a lot of people had worries about his size too (he was both shorter and leaner than Thornton, so about as filled out). He just has a pretty unique build, though it's obviously not a sentence that he won't be able to withstand the NFL physically.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Thornton was born on 8/7/00, which is one week after Brady made his pro debut (7/31/00 pre-season game against SF).

EDIT: BTW, it's a little crazy that the Pats played SF in a pre-season game, isn't it?
 

Eddie Jurak

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My track coach brother thoughts on Thornton (based on a quick review of the same clips we all have). He seems optimistic:

6'3" 183...looks wiry strong

I like his build. He's fast, but looks strong/dense enough to have a good work capacity.

Even though his frame and 40y time might suggest long speed (which is fine), he's got short area quickness coming off the line in several of his releases.

Didn't get to see much against more physical press man

He's not a loper in his stride; he's got quick feet. But it doesn't seem to translate so well to the top of his routes, where he's still fast, but I don't see as much separation burst

Comfortable catching w his hands, though I saw something that said they were small

Several contested catches in his highlights too.

No evidence of jet sweeps/reverses/STs on his highlights

Pats need guys who can stress a defense, and this is a guy who will need to be accounted for.

Saw a couple people call him another Tre Nixon. That's total bs. Nixon is an unremarkable athlete - not the case at all w Thornton.

For a taller guy his ground contact times are very quick
I asked him about the bad 3-cone time:
Oh, didn't realize that. I'd say that shows up at the top of his routes. But he has some ability off the line,so it's not like there's no quickness there.

My instinct is that I like Thornton's potential.
 

j44thor

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Unless you use six feet as some magic marker, there have been tons of skinny wide receivers in the league. Desean Jackson, DeVonta Smith, Emmanuel Sanders, Sean Jefferson.
Emmanuel Sanders is 3 inches shorter at the same weight. That is an entirely different body type. DeVonta Smith is probably closest in body type but very different skill sets. Perhaps this guy breaks the mold, there always has to be a first but when you are X tall and only weigh Y there is very little history of success. Robby Anderson and Will Fuller are perhaps the best taller, skinnier WRs over the last decade or so. Obviously I hope he is a multi-year all-pro hall of famer. The people that I follow that follow WRs very closely put a very low chance of that happening.
 

BaseballJones

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It's easy to think of Randy Moss as a really skinny guy, but he weighed 210. Thornton is just 182. Big difference.
 

mikcou

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Yes and Randy Moss was 6'4"+. They have very comparable body types. Just like Moss was never going to be 220 in the NFL, Thornton will never be 200-205, but he will likely play in the 190s, which should be perfectly fine.

As others have mentioned, he has the exact same size and body type as Williams, but no one brought it up for him. It just shouldnt be an issue. Thornton might suck, but it very likely will be for some other factor than his build/body type (e.g., inability to break off the line fast enough, not quick enough downfield breaks, etc).
 

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The rumor is that Pittsburgh had Thortnon as their highest graded WR left and were going to take him at 52 so the Patriots went ahead of them and got him. I feel a lot better that Pittsburgh had him rated so highly as they've had pretty good success drafting and developing WR's lately.
 

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One of the things posted/instatweeted is that his routing is very linear with a limited route tree, and another is what EJs brother's cousin's hair dresser's kinesiologist* mentioned about not seeing much at the top of his routes.

I've been wondering if the absence of a route tree is on Thornton because of inability/physical limitation or on coaching laziness because he was already open just going straight or on his QB who wasn't effective hitting him in straight lines and likely going to be able to find/hit him after a bunch of movement? Either way, get him a playbook, get him an invite to Jones' backyard playbook study sessions with his gf and see where he can progress to.

Even if all he does is go in straight lines effectively, he will still loosen the defensive box for the rest of the offense.

*Just in good fun @Eddie Jurak - I'm envious at you having trusted professional voices in your immediate family. The voices from my immediate family seem to act in concert with the ones in my head, so there is that!
 

RedOctober3829

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One of the things posted/instatweeted is that his routing is very linear with a limited route tree, and another is what EJs brother's cousin's hair dresser's kinesiologist* mentioned about not seeing much at the top of his routes.

I've been wondering if the absence of a route tree is on Thornton because of inability/physical limitation or on coaching laziness because he was already open just going straight or on his QB who wasn't effective hitting him in straight lines and likely going to be able to find/hit him after a bunch of movement? Either way, get him a playbook, get him an invite to Jones' backyard playbook study sessions with his gf and see where he can progress to.

Even if all he does is go in straight lines effectively, he will still loosen the defensive box for the rest of the offense.

*Just in good fun @Eddie Jurak - I'm envious at you having trusted professional voices in your immediate family. The voices from my immediate family seem to act in concert with the ones in my head, so there is that!
Baylor's offensive system is so, so different from the Patriots system that it will take some time for him to get up to speed.
 

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The point is that you can’t worry about whether another player will succeed elsewhere. All that matters is the player you choose succeeds for you.

Obviously that didn’t happen with Harry. Hopefully it will with Thornton.
When did you become Little Mary Sunshine?
 

tims4wins

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When did you become Little Mary Sunshine?
Honestly the Dugger pick was a bit of a turning point for me. I kind of went off the deep end that night. Since then, I can't get worked up about this stuff.

Edit: plus, as I posted in the day 2 draft thread, I have my eyes on 2023. So I view everything they are doing this year from the lens of putting together a complete team to actually contend in 2023.
 

E5 Yaz

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I have my eyes on 2023. So I view everything they are doing this year from the lens of putting together a complete team to actually contend in 2023.
I'm right there with you. Get a Top 15 pick
 

JM3

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It's one thing to be 5'10, 175 like Desean Jackson or 5'11, 180 like Emmanuel Sanders. It's a completely different thing to be 6'3, 181. DeVonta Smith is the comp and a lot of people had worries about his size too (he was both shorter and leaner than Thornton, so about as filled out). He just has a pretty unique build, though it's obviously not a sentence that he won't be able to withstand the NFL physically.
Eh, that's basically my build & I could totally be an NFL receiver if I was actually athletic enough.

If he fails it will be because he's not good enough at football. More concerned with the quickness than the build.
 

JM3

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Btw - anyone who plans on second guessing this pick down the road because so & so is better should put their flag on their guy(s) who went soon after now. Otherwise it doesn't count. Will look into whether I have a flag guy later.

For example, last time AJ Brown was my flag guy so I can 2nd guess & bash the Patriots all I want for that, but I have no rights to bash them for Deebo or DK.
 

BaseballJones

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Btw - anyone who plans on second guessing this pick down the road because so & so is better should put their flag on their guy(s) who went soon after now. Otherwise it doesn't count. Will look into whether I have a flag guy later.

For example, last time AJ Brown was my flag guy so I can 2nd guess & bash the Patriots all I want for that, but I have no rights to bash them for Deebo or DK.
Good point. I mean Thornton vs the field (of guys that were drafted after him) is clearly going to favor the field by a wide margin. So yeah call it now who you think they should have taken at WR instead of him.
 

Cellar-Door

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Was looking back at combine results... Another guy who was over 6 feet and under 195 (slower by a good amount though) is one of Bill's favorites.... Chad Johnson
 

Niastri

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Baylor's offensive system is so, so different from the Patriots system that it will take some time for him to get up to speed.
It looked like the only routes Thornton ran for Baylor were slants and "run farther and faster than anybody else down the field" routes.

I'm pretty sure however they draw it up, Thornton will still remember how to be faster than everybody else.
 

Eddie Jurak

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One of the things posted/instatweeted is that his routing is very linear with a limited route tree, and another is what EJs brother's cousin's hair dresser's kinesiologist* mentioned about not seeing much at the top of his routes.

I've been wondering if the absence of a route tree is on Thornton because of inability/physical limitation or on coaching laziness because he was already open just going straight or on his QB who wasn't effective hitting him in straight lines and likely going to be able to find/hit him after a bunch of movement? Either way, get him a playbook, get him an invite to Jones' backyard playbook study sessions with his gf and see where he can progress to.

Even if all he does is go in straight lines effectively, he will still loosen the defensive box for the rest of the offense.
I think this is where we have reached the limits of what a bunch of folks on a message board can reasonably know.

We know he's got an unusual frame in the sense of how tall and thin he is. Can he play that way anyway? Or add some good weight in an NFL diet and training program? I have no idea.

Poor 3-cone time might be an indication that he is fast but not quick and that will hold him back. You could point to the tops of his routes as evidecne of that. On the other hand, you can point to how he gets off the line as a counterpoint.

All I feel reasonably confident in saying at this stage is that this wasn't a crazy pick - the Patriots wanted to add speed and they certainly did so here. Beyond that, tehre are reasons for optimism and pessimism, so we'll just have to see him in camp.
 

Van Everyman

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Thornton was born on 8/7/00, which is one week after Brady made his pro debut (7/31/00 pre-season game against SF).

EDIT: BTW, it's a little crazy that the Pats played SF in a pre-season game, isn't it?
And IIRC, Giovanni Carmozzi, the guy SF drafted instead of Brady basically began and ended his career in that game according to Mariucci.

“The lights were a little too bright for Gio” – Mooch
 

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Btw - anyone who plans on second guessing this pick down the road because so & so is better should put their flag on their guy(s) who went soon after now. Otherwise it doesn't count. Will look into whether I have a flag guy later.

For example, last time AJ Brown was my flag guy so I can 2nd guess & bash the Patriots all I want for that, but I have no rights to bash them for Deebo or DK.
Yes. Great idea. And I’ll add —— if you’re wrong your post has to be pinned to the top of the Wall of Shame for future draft threads and you have a 24 hour ban on draft night before spouting negativity!
 

JM3

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Yes. Great idea. And I’ll add —— if you’re wrong your post has to be pinned to the top of the Wall of Shame for future draft threads and you have a 24 hour ban on draft night before spouting negativity!
Is this why Ron Borges still isn't allowed to post here?
 

Cellar-Door

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One thing that might add some weight to the rumors that the Steelers wanted Thornton and the Pats jumped up and stole him.....
The Steelers have a new WR coach, Frisman Jackson who they got from Carolina... before that he was the WR coach at Baylor, where he recruited Thornton and was his WR coach for 2 years.
 

Mystic Merlin

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They aren’t identical players, but I think Cooks in 2017 was the last guy they had who could consistently win off the line and flat out burn the corner downfield. By contrast, Dorsett’s straight line speed really didn’t manifest in terms of actually getting open/catching balls downfield.
 

brendan f

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One thing that might add some weight to the rumors that the Steelers wanted Thornton and the Pats jumped up and stole him.....
The Steelers have a new WR coach, Frisman Jackson who they got from Carolina... before that he was the WR coach at Baylor, where he recruited Thornton and was his WR coach for 2 years.
Yeah heard this, too, and it makes a ton of sense.
 

genoasalami

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FWIW Kiper's take..

In Round 2, there were several better wide receivers available when New England took Tyquan Thornton (50), who didn't even make my list of the top 25 wideouts in this class. Yes, he has blazing speed -- he ran a 4.28-second 40 at the combine -- but he needs a lot of work on his all-around game. Alec Pierce, George Pickens, Skyy Moore and Jalen Tolbert all would have been better picks. It's another selection without value.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2022/insider/story/_/id/33827196/nfl-draft-grades-mel-kiper-jr-picks-steals-sleepers-favorite-2022-classes-all-32-teams
 

Ferm Sheller

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This is off-topic, but Mel Kiper's really the poster child for the American dream, isn't he? Never played football, never coached it, and I don't think that he's ever worked for a team in any capacity, but man, he's really made a good living (saw that he's worth ~$7M) doing not much. I'm sure that most of us here work a lot harder for a lot less.
 

Cesar Crespo

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This is off-topic, but Mel Kiper's really the poster child for the American dream, isn't he? Never played football, never coached it, and I don't think that he's ever worked for a team in any capacity, but man, he's really made a good living (saw that he's worth ~$7M) doing not much. I'm sure that most of us here work a lot harder for a lot less.
Isn't Kiper praised for his work ethic?
 

Ferm Sheller

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Isn't Kiper praised for his work ethic?
I mean, I wouldn't know, but I really wouldn't consider thoroughly analyzing a few hundred draft prospects and spending a few days each year on television stressful and/or back-breaking work.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I mean, I wouldn't know, but I really wouldn't consider thoroughly analyzing a few hundred draft prospects and spending a few days each year on television stressful and/or back-breaking work.
Sure but anyone working in entertainment/sports is living the American dream. Well, the people on the camera, anyway.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Sure but anyone working in entertainment/sports is living the American dream. Well, the people on the camera, anyway.
Yes, that's true, but he carved that role for himself out of nothing. "TV NFL draft analyst" didn't exist prior to him, and he's been doing it for 40 years -- his entire adulthood, his entire career. That's what I mean when I say "poster-child for the American dream". Self-made, easy work.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I think he crunches as much tape as anybody not working for a team. I have no real sense for whether he’s any better or worse than NFL scouts in appraising talent.

Like all of these guys, I put zero stock into his view of which selection is/is not a ‘reach’ in terms of whether the guy would’ve been around for a later pick, but if he just doesn’t like the player then I guess that’s his opinion?
 

Cellar-Door

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FWIW Kiper's take..

In Round 2, there were several better wide receivers available when New England took Tyquan Thornton (50), who didn't even make my list of the top 25 wideouts in this class. Yes, he has blazing speed -- he ran a 4.28-second 40 at the combine -- but he needs a lot of work on his all-around game. Alec Pierce, George Pickens, Skyy Moore and Jalen Tolbert all would have been better picks. It's another selection without value.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2022/insider/story/_/id/33827196/nfl-draft-grades-mel-kiper-jr-picks-steals-sleepers-favorite-2022-classes-all-32-teams
See this is a great example of why Kiper and most of the rankings are dumb... Skyy Moore and Thornton don't play the same position.
No team is choosing between them. It's one reason why SMU is honestly better at this than Kiper, he recognizes scheme and role fits.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I think he crunches as much tape as anybody not working for a team. I have no real sense for whether he’s any better or worse than NFL scouts in appraising talent.

Like all of these guys, I put zero stock into his view of which selection is/is not a ‘reach’ in terms of whether the guy would’ve been around for a later pick, but if he just doesn’t like the player then I guess that’s his opinion?
Yeah, I can't get a sense, either. I'd have to think that he's pretty knowledgable, but his real bread-and-butter is that he has the perfect personality for the draft: No laughing, no smiling, no nonsense, just serious talk about UTEP's punter's abilities and deficiencies, maybe like Peter Jennings spoke about the Challenger disaster.