Patriots trade up to select Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton in second round of 2022 NFL Draft

Two AFC foes have gotten rather chummy via the phone in this draft. Their second deal gave a second-year quarterback a new weapon.

The Patriots traded second- and fifth-round picks (Nos. 54 and 158) to the Chiefs for the 50th-overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. New England then spent that pick on Baylor receiver Tyquan Thornton.

Thornton led the Bears in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2021 while tying for the second-most receiving touchdowns in the Big 12 with 10. He did all of this while also missing three games due to an undisclosed injury, and the physical potential — which included a blazing 4.28 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine — was enough to convince the Patriots to move up and add a pass-catcher for quarterback Mac Jones to target.

Thornton fills a void that has existed for quite some time in New England. The Baylor product was the fastest receiver at the NFL Scouting Combine and stacked his excellent 40 time on top of a 36 1/2 inch vertical leap and a broad jump of nearly 11 feet. Explosiveness is visible in his numbers and his film.

The Patriots haven’t had a receiver truly capable of taking the top off the defense in quite some time, instead opting to draft bigger receivers (N’Keal Harry) and filling the rest of the room with lower-ceiling, younger players and veterans.

New England and Kansas City established a line of communication on Thursday night when the Chiefs dialed the Patriots and executed a trade that moved Kansas City up from No. 29 to No. 21. Kansas City sent New England the 29th, 94th and 121st picks in that deal.

This time around, the Patriots decided it was time to strike. They’ll hope it pays off in their first season without Josh McDaniels calling the offensive shots.

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