Jakobi Meyers explains how Tyquan Thornton has impressed

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New England Patriots receiver Tyquan Thornton isn’t the top man on the depth chart. Far from it. Even though the Patriots traded up to draft Thornton at 50th overall in the 2022 NFL draft, he sat firmly behind veteran receivers DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor.

But Thornton has begun starting to get involved with the first- and second-team offense. He hasn’t wowed with any splash plays, particularly with the team spending the entirety of its team drills in the red area. (There’s not enough field to stretch.) Thornton, the fastest wideout at the 2022 NFL combine, has chipped away at the defense with short receptions, which is actually a positive sign for the youngster.

“He’s fast. He’s elusive. A lot of people don’t realize how quick he is coming in and out of his break,” receiver Jakobi Meyers said of Thornton after practice on Friday. “I feel like Tyquan’s going to have a good career in the league. I’ll be excited watching him play.”

Playing receiver is more complicated than simply turning on the jets. Thornton is learning the nuances to apply his unique athleticism to the wideout position. He discussed what parts of his game he’s focusing on developing.

“It’s pretty obvious that I’m fast, so now I’m just trying to work on the other areas: strength, route running, contested catches and just trying to become the complete receiver,” Thornton said Friday.

He added: “I’m just trying to get 1% better every day. (After) 365 days, I’ll get 365% better.”

I’m not a math genius, but I think those numbers check out — unless we’re talking about compounding gains but I digress.

Without an offensive coordinator, New England’s entire coaching staff is focused on bringing him along, from receivers coach Troy Brown to coach Bill Belichick. The staff is watching the development of the second-rounder, who has demonstrated an eagerness and resiliency for learning. Thornton had invited constructive criticism from Meyers on his routes and footwork. Thornton has also been an example of what not to do during positional drills, with Belichick stopping a drill to correct the rookie receiver in front of the entire group to make sure the wideouts heard that coaching point.

And that didn’t faze the youngster.

“You just take the coaching, and the next rep, you can correct the mistakes,” he said.

If it’s that simple, Meyers is right: Thornton will have a good NFL career.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire