ESPN names Tyquan Thornton as one of biggest winners in 2023 NFL draft
The hope heading into the 2023 NFL draft was that the New England Patriots would be aggressive in addressing some of their offensive holes, most notably at the receiver position.
Granted, they took a couple of sixth-round fliers on Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas, but they never went after a high-end prospect, despite having an opportunity to take the best on the board.
A big reason for that decision might have been second-year wideout Tyquan Thornton, who ESPN’s Bill Barnwell named as one of the biggest winners of the draft.
The Patriots are clearly showing a lot of faith in the potential growth and development of their 2022 second-round draft pick. His ability to emerge into a key offensive playmaker for the team under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien’s leadership would be a game-changer in New England.
Thornton looks to be heading toward more meaningful snaps. Despite suggestions the Patriots would look to target a wide receiver in Round 1, coach Bill Belichick passed on Jaxon Smith-Njigba to select cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Belichick didn’t draft a wideout until Round 6, when he used a pair of selections on Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas.
Thornton showed glimpses throughout the 2022 season, particularly in his ability to separate from defenders. But he never popped in terms of production in an offense that was a complete letdown.
Perhaps things will be different with new coaches and more NFL experience under his belt.
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