After patiently watching for 42 picks to go by Friday evening, the Colts made their lone choice of the night when they selected offensive guard Hugh Thornton out of Illinois. Below are some analysts from various national outlets weighing in on Thornton:
National Football Post: The Colts continue their strong draft by selecting Thornton. An extremely strong player, he can drive defenders off the line and stop power rushers in their tracks. Impressive for such a strong player, Thornton can also get to the second level fast and is a good blocker out in space. Thornton should start at guard for the Colts in 2013 and become a mainstay on their offensive line.
ESPN.com: Thornton has gotten into trouble off the field so there are character concerns to consider here. In terms of the film, his ability to adjust to the speed and the complexity of the defenses is the biggest concern, based on below average awareness on tape. His natural ability isn’t an issue. He shows above-average quickness and balance for a 320-pound interior offensive linemen, and he’s even shown the ability to line up at tackle. This offensive line wasn’t consistent last season, especially in pass protection. That’s not good when you have a franchise quarterback. The Colts are making the transition to a bigger, more physical line, and they tried to address some of their weaknesses in free agency. Thornton is the physical kind of guy they want as an inside mauler, and he has played both guard and tackle, which provides versatility. Indy’s coaches will look for the best spot to fit him in.
FOX Sports: He’s a tenacious blocker with great upper body strength. Lacks some pure lateral movement.
CBS Sports: He is a tough-guy guard that goes to a team in need of it.
NFL.com’s Mike Mayock: “He’s one of those guys you root for. He’s been through a lot. I liked him at the Senior Bowl. If he can be more consistent with his technique, he’ll make a good living in the NFL.”
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