The New England Patriots needed to add speed to their wide receiver corps after last season, and they addressed that weakness during the 2022 NFL Draft with the selection of former Baylor star Tyquan Thornton.
But the Patriots clearly saw something in Thornton's skill set, and through the first week of training camp, his speed has certainly stood out.
"I think Ty is a hard worker," Patriots quarterback Mac Jones said after Tuesday's practice. "He's starting to really grasp the things we're doing. Getting open -- he clearly has the speed to get open.
"We have a great group of guys, and we need to spread the ball out to them -- that's the whole point of this offense. Get the ball to different people and not key on one person, spread the wealth and allow those guys to run after the catch.
Thornton's stock has been improving in camp so far. His ability to use his speed to make plays down the field has been apparent. He's also made some difficult catches, including an over-the-shoulder grab from Jones during Tuesday's session.
The Patriots should be pretty strong at wide receiver this season. The group had a good finish to 2021, and then New England added veteran DeVante Parker in a trade with the Miami Dolphins before drafting Thornton. These two additions, plus Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor give Jones a deep and talented batch of wide receivers to target in the passing attack.