5 Patriots with the most to prove during the 2024 season

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Tyquan Thornton

The Patriots receiving corps, in general, will have a lot to prove in the months leading to the 2024 season but a lot of that pressure will be on Tyquan Thornton, who has had two uninspiring seasons since the team drafted him.

He was immediately labeled a reach by Bill Belichick, who traded up to draft him, yet his quickness and contested catch abilities made him a valuable asset for the offense at the time. Thornton had a role as soon as he joined the team, but a broken collarbone in the offseason pushed his rookie debut back unexpectedly.

Once he hit the field, he had a few impressive games that made him look worth the effort to draft him. The game against the Browns has become his most memorable game, in which he recorded a receiving and rushing touchdown to help give the Patriots the win.

That performance broke a record long held by Deion Branch, but he couldn't keep that production going for the rest of the 2022 season or last year either. He started 2023 on injured reserve again, dealing with another injury that gave him a second unfortunate start to the season.

Thornton took the field for nine games last season and partially fell victim to an inept offense, which kept him out of the receiver rotation. He recorded just 13 receptions for 91 yards to bring his career totals to 35 receptions for 338 yards and two touchdowns.

With a crowded receiver room heading into the summer, Thornton must find a way to stand out and prove he is worth keeping a spot on the team. He will have stiff competition, with Kendrick Bourne and DeMario Douglas in the lineup, on top of the two rookies drafted last month, Javon Baker and Ja'Lynn Polk.

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