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NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OG Hugh Thornton

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A look at Illinois offensive guard Hugh Thornton who is projected to go in the middle rounds of this week's NFL Draft.

USA TODAY Sports

Basics

Position: Offensive Guard
Height: 6'3
Weight: 320 pounds
40 time: 5.11
Combine bench press: 27 reps

Strengths

Thornton is quick off the ball and is quick to the point of attack, and he blocks angry. He's not done with his block until the echo of the whistle. Has good speed that allows him to get to second level of defense to take on linebackers, pull to the outside and block down as well. Stronger run-blocking than pass.

Weaknesses

Has problems in pass-blocking, as he has a tendency to stand up too straight while dropping back and loses leverage because of it. Strong enough to handle bull rush, but needs to use his hands better to counter during pass protection.

Anything Else?

Odds are nothing that happens on a football field will faze him. Thornton discovered that his mother and sister had been murdered while visiting them in Jamaica for Christmas in 2004. He was arrested for underage consumption in 2009 and again later for trying to use a fake ID, but these are typical college kid arrests and shouldn't raise red flags. Is projected as a guard at the NFL level, but saw time at both right and left tackles as well while in Champaign, so he is versatile and can move around, though he's not an ideal tackle at the NFL level.

Summary

Hugh Thornton should be a valuable member of an offensive line in the NFL, as he has the speed, strength and versatility to be used in many different ways. The ideal scheme for him would be a zone-blocking scheme because of his strength and foot speed, but has enough ability to be serviceable in any scheme.

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