Thursday late PM update: Welp, so much for a record. The NFL announced Thornton’s official time was 4.28.
OFFICIAL 40 times:— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2022
Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton: 4.28
Ohio State WR Chris Olave: 4.39#NFLCombine
Baylor Bears WR Tyquan Thornton may have just broken the record for the fastest 40-yard dash time ever at the NFL combine on Thursday night with a time of 4.21. The all-time record is held by former Washington WR John Ross, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals and played last season with the New York Giants. Ross ran a 4.22 at the combine back in 2017.
Update — It would appear that Thornton’s 40-time is official, per the NFL’s combine tracker.
Thornton is coming off 62 receptions for 948 yards and 10 TDs for the Bears this past season. He helped Baylor defeat Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game with 6 receptions for 71 yards and a TD before catching a TD in the Sugar Bowl to help take down Ole Miss in 2021.
As far as Thornton as a prospect, he didn’t crack Pro Football Focus’ top 20 WR rankings for the 2022 NFL Draft. We’ve seen WRs in the past improve their stock via the combine, flashing speed like this. Thornton could help improve his draft position or help himself get selected at all by breaking the 40-yard dash record. Even if he doesn’t after the official number is released, it’s still very impressive.
Thornton definitely has a place in the NFL as a kick returner and may have some upside in terms of a deep threat. It’s surprising how fast he is given his height, which is around 6’2” or 6’3” in listings around various websites. Someone with that size and speed has the potential to be very good at the next level. It seems unclear if Thornton can put it all together as a route runner.