The New England Patriots added 4.28 seconds to the wideout room in April.
There’s time for rookie Tyquan Thornton to add elsewhere, as his veteran teammate told reporters following the first session of organized team activities.
“Tyquan’s dope,” Kendrick Bourne said Monday. “We got to get some weight on my guy, but bro is blazing, though. Good attitude also. He’s bought in. You can tell he cares.”
Thornton stepped onto the scale at 181 pounds during the NFL Scouting Combine. Only a handful of 2022 receiver prospects invited to Indianapolis weighed in lighter. None ran the 40-yard dash faster.
The Baylor product strided down the turf at a wiry 6-foot-2, and after a senior season in which he led the Bears with 62 receptions for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to the East-West Shrine Bowl.
New England traded up to No. 50 overall to build upon those dimensions.
“I think it was a dope pick, man,” added Bourne. “We need speed and we need to add that downfield threat. And so, I think he gives us another in that part of the field. That’s another thing — learning from him, too. I can learn from him. He can learn from us. He’s in the right place. If he has the right attitude and applies himself, this type of place will take you to another level.”
Bourne, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract last spring, can attest.
The 2017 undrafted free agent out of Eastern Washington went on to set career highs with 55 receptions for 800 yards in his initial season as a Patriot. His five touchdowns tied another from his time with the San Francisco 49ers. Additionally, 125 yards arrived by ground through the first dozen carries of his NFL tenure.
Bourne’s big-play rate of 19.5 percent ranked fifth among the league’s receivers when factoring in combined looks, according to data from USA Today’s Marcus Mosher.
“I was definitely skinny,” recalled Bourne, who remains listed on head coach Bill Belichick’s roster at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds. “I’ve put on a little weight now, you know? Shoutout to Bill. But this is the place to do that. So if he buys in and applies the things he needs to, he’ll be able to get to the place he wants to be. Because for me, I bought in and it worked out fast, man. You get the result you put in.”
Thornton and Bourne near June on a depth chart that also includes Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker, Ty Montgomery, Kristian Wilkerson, Tre Nixon, Malcolm Perry and N’Keal Harry.
The second OTA practice behind Gillette Stadium is scheduled for Tuesday.
“I think we all have skills where if one goes down or something happens, we’re able to replace in a good way,” Bourne said of the position group. “It’s just about learning from each other and getting better, not just trying to be a one-trick kind of guy, you know? Being able to do different things. ... So, just learning from each other and applying different traits.”