New England Patriots

Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson (33) interferes with New England Patriots wide receiver Tyquan Thornton (11) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

  • When the Patriots released this year’s rookie jersey numbers on Thursday, the biggest surprise might have been Tyquan Thornton. The rookie was issued No. 11, previously worn by Patriots legend Julian Edelman.

    Edelman retired following the 2020 season. The number, which he wore for 11 seasons, was not re-issued in 2021. DeVante Parker wore it during the spring this year, but switched to No. 1 before training camp.

    What does it mean for such a highly-anticipated draft pick to wear a number with so much history and meaning to the organization? “Julian, he was a great receiver,” Thornton said when asked about the number change after the game. “I’m kind of proud to wear that number after him.”

  • Thornton started off the new No. 11 era on a high note. He caught the Patriots’ first touchdown of the game on Thursday, working off a route on a broken play to help a scrambling quarterback- something Edelman did time and time again during his years in Foxborough.

    Prior to Thursday, Thornton had been wearing No. 51 in training camp as part of the Patriots’ rookie numbering tradition that starts at 50 and goes in order of draft picks. The second-round selection is welcoming the change. “I feel a little bit better wearing the 11,” he said with a chuckle. “I feel it fits me more.”

    There’s still a long way to go for Thornton to reach the impact of the last two players to wear No. 11 in New England – Edelman and 1993 first overall pick Drew Bledsoe. But in his first 24 hours in the jersey, he got off to a good start.

  • Julian Edelman’s career stats

     
    Game Game Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rush Rush Rush Rush
    Year Age Tm No. G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng Rush Yds TD Y/A
    2009 23 NWE 11 11 7 54 37 359 9.7 1 29 2 5 0 2.5
    2010 24 NWE 11 15 3 14 7 86 12.3 0 40 2 14 0 7.0
    2011 25 NWE 11 13 0 9 4 34 8.5 0 11 4 8 0 2.0
    2012 26 NWE 11 9 3 32 21 235 11.2 3 56 4 45 0 11.3
    2013 27 NWE 11 16 11 151 105 1056 10.1 6 44 2 11 0 5.5
    2014 28 NWE 11 14 13 134 92 972 10.6 4 69 10 94 0 9.4
    2015 29 NWE 11 9 9 88 61 692 11.3 7 59 3 23 0 7.7
    2016 30 NWE 11 16 13 159 98 1106 11.3 3 77 12 57 0 4.8
    2018 32 NWE 11 12 12 108 74 850 11.5 6 36 9 107 0 11.9
    2019 33 NWE 11 16 13 153 100 1117 11.2 6 44 8 27 0 3.4
    2020 34 NWE 11 6 1 39 21 315 15.0 0 49 2 22 0 11.0
    Care Care 137 85 941 620 6822 11.0 36 77 58 413 0 7.1
    Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 8/12/2022.