It seemed almost fitting with former Pro Bowl tackle Tarik Glenn announcing the 86th pick for the Indianapolis Colts that the team would then choose an offensive lineman.
Hugh Thornton, an offensive guard out of Illinois, was the name that Glenn read during Friday evening’s third round.
How does this pick impact the Colts?
A Senior Bowl participant, Thornton played in 42 career games for Illinois while starting 35 of those contests at both guard and tackle.
Versatility along the line is something that the Colts had to rely on last season and Thornton gives Indianapolis a player that can line up at a variety of spots.
Last season, Thornton started 10 games at left tackle and also started seven contests at right tackle during his freshman campaign of 2009. In 2010 and 2011, Thornton started 18 games at weak-side guard for the Fighting Illini.
Thornton was apart of an Illinois line that led the Big Ten in rushing in 2010, while also breaking a school record for points per game.
In high school, Thornton was a two-time Idaho state heavyweight wrestling champion before moving to Ohio for his senior year.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said that Thornton graded out as the top guard during this year’s Senior Bowl and that was after a senior year where he started at left tackle for Illinois.
During the offseason, the Colts acquired Donald Thomas on the interior of the offensive line to go along with five different players that started at least one game at guard or center last season.
With 16-game starter Mike McGlynn returning at right guard, the Colts can now add Thornton to the names of Thomas and Joe Reitz at the guard position.
Depth along the offensive line is something that the Colts lacked at times in 2012 but with two veteran offseason additions and an All-Big Ten selection in the draft, Indianapolis has positioned themselves to create some quality competition through training camp.
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