Standing out at OTAs

Thornton was "at the epicenter of several schematic tricks" new OC Bill O'Brien installed at Wednesday's OTAs practice, Evan Lazar of the Patriots' official website reports.

Selected 50th overall in last year's NFL Draft, Thornton's rookie season started with missing Weeks 1-4 and then catching just 22 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns on 45 targets across 13 contests. His speed is standing out at OTAs, however, and Thornton's "route-running precision and pacing to create separation were better than his rookie training camp," according to Lazar. O'Brien has made it a point to feature Thornton's speed in practices. The second-year wideout will try to push Kendrick Bourne for a role in three-wide sets alongside DeVante Parker and newcomer JuJu Smith-Schuster.

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