Patriots WR Tyquan Thornton reacts to criticism about skinny wrists and slender frame

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Tyquan Thornton is a unique player in so many ways. There’s his production, with the receiver putting up big numbers (10 touchdowns) in an offense that barely threw the football at Baylor. There’s his speed, of course, with the receiver having led his 2022 draft class with a 4.28-second 40-yard dash.

“A lot of guys have asked to race, but not after that 4.2,″ Thornton said with a smile on Tuesday after Patriots practice.

But then there’s the frame: 6-foot-2, 181 pounds. He’s skinny — very skinny. That could be a point of concern as he transitions to the NFL level where cornerbacks are bigger and more physical than in college (on top of, obviously, being far more talented). A part of the knock on Thornton wasn’t just that he had a skinny torso but also that he had skinny wrists.

What did Thornton think about that?

“Skinny wrists? I mean, what are you using your wrists for?” Thornton asked. “That was new to me.”

Thornton has been putting in his first few days on the practice field as a pro. And he’s already getting to work on releases and route-running, which includes one particularly coaching point: he needs to use his arms more when running those routes.

He’s eating a lot with hopes of changing his body type. And there’s a target.

“I wouldn’t say getting bigger,” Thornton said. “I would say getting stronger.”

The distinction might just be important for a wideout who has to make adjustments carefully in order to prevent from losing his speed.

“This is my body type. This is my frame,” Thornton said. “I don’t see myself getting 225 pounds. I’ve been thin all my life. But just getting stronger in the weight room. Building more muscles so I can have that fast twitch.”

That’s one of the many adjustments Thornton is making. He’ll also grapple with the Patriots playbook, which is infamously dense. He did not seem intimidated, however. He said he has some familiarity with the plays from his time at Baylor when he operated under a number of different offensive coordinators, including a new one in 2021.

“One of my coaches told me in college: ‘Everybody runs the same plays. It’s just got different names to it.’ So once you kind of put it together, you’re like: ‘Oh yeah, this is kind of similar to what I ran in college.’ So you just learn the concepts and those should stick with you,” Thornton said.


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