Two NFC teams were interested in drafting Patriots WR Tyquan Thornton on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, according to report

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Baylor

The Patriots’ NFL Draft 2022 class has been one of the most scrutinized drafts this offseason. It started when the team took shooting guard Cole Strange in the first round with the 29th overall pick and continued through the three days in Las Vegas as many draft pundits felt the team was catching up with its prospects.

One of those picks that baffled some in the NFL landscape was taking wide receiver Tyquan Thornton in the second round at No. 50 overall. The consensus was that the Baylor wide receiver would likely come off the board in the middle rounds, possibly the fourth. That said, with the draft even more in the rearview mirror, we have a better idea of ​​how teams felt about Thornton, and some clubs reportedly viewed him similarly to New England.

Thornton was also on the radar of some teams on Day 2, including the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, according to ESPN. The report notes that Thornton’s speed and solid interviewing kept him up late in the weeks leading up to the draft. The Patriots were a team that also had him on a top-30 visit as the draft approached.

While the Patriots traded from No. 54 to No. 50 to take Thornton, both the Packers and Saints had a chance to snatch the pass catcher against New England. Green Bay had the second pick of the second round (No. 34 overall) and opted to take North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson over Thornton. New Orleans also had a pick just short of where the Patriots would ultimately end up taking Thornton, but they headed to the secondary with the 49th pick by taking out corner Alontae Taylor from Tennessee. However, the Saints targeted the wide receiver in the first round, drafting Chris Olave from Ohio State at No. 11 overall.

Thornton’s speed is the most attractive thing about his game, as he posted a 4.28 at the NFL Scouting Combine, making him the fastest receiver in this class. New England wasn’t hiding its desire to move up the roster faster, and it has done so with the addition of Thornton. While he brings speed with him to Foxborough, whether or not Thornton can actually use it to his advantage as he transitions to the NFL is another question entirely. With that in mind, we’ll only really find out if the Patriots — and other teams who held him in high regard — were right to get him there once the season gets underway.

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