As the Detroit Lions look across the board at draftable wide receivers, they have been tied to heavy interest in a speedster who tore up the combine.
The Detroit Lions have a solid-looking wide receiver corps right now, with DJ Chark added and Josh Reynolds re-signed to go along with Amon-Ra St. Brown. But looking beyond next season the position is a long-term need, and it’s clear they’re surveying the draft-eligible receivers high and low.
Last week, according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, Lions wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El was among those in attendance at Baylor’s Pro Day. Pauline also added the Lions are among the teams who have met extensively with Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton.
"Thornton had dinner with the Saints last night, met extensively with the 49ers as well as the Lions, and has already been on an official 30 visit with the Packers."
Thornton had a breakthrough season last year for Baylor, finishing top-five in the Big 12 in catches (62), yards (948) and receiving touchdowns (10). But his showing at the NFL Combine got him attention.
Thornton ran a blistering 4.28 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. Even with that, NFL NextGen Stats only graded him out as an average prospect.
Tyquan Thornton might be a fit for what the Detroit Lions need
Reynolds added a downfield threat upon arriving to the Lions in the middle of last season, as he averaged over 16 yards per catch in seven games. His rapport with Jared Goff was a difference maker, and over a full season it will surely continue. Chark fits the profile of an “X” receiver the Lions have been clear about seeking.
But looking down the road, with Chark and Reynolds on short deals, the Lions could add someone who can develop into a downfield threat in the draft. Thornton profiles as that, even tabbed as one-dimensional.
Thornton is a Day 3 pick. Ideally he wouldn’t be the only wide receiver the Lions draft later this month if they do pick him, but he’s clearly on the radar right now.