Weight: 195 pounds
40 time: 4.44
Combine bench press: 13
2009: 30 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD, 5 passes broken up
2010: 28 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT, 3 passes broken up
2011: 60 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 INT, 1 TD, 8 passes broken up, 1 QB hurry, 1 fumble forced
2012: 44 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 1 sack, 6 passes broken up
2009: 5 kick returns for 92 yards
2011: 5 punt returns for 37 yards
2012: 12 kick returns for 255 yards, 3 punt returns for 9 yards
Is big enough, strong enough and quick enough to handle the larger receivers of the NFL. Is also more than capable of helping out in the run game, as he is not afraid to throw his body into a hole or the legs of an oncoming back. Is also strong enough to tackle above the waist. Shows good instinct in pass defense and is especially strong in press coverage.
While he has good instincts and often knows when and where the ball is going to be, he's a body-catcher rather than hands. This leads to a share of missed interceptions. While he's a willing tackler he could use work on his tackling form as he lowers his head too often, which could lead to injury to himself and penalties in the NFL.
His numbers in 2010 and 2012 are affected by injuries, as he missed four games in 2010 with a broken foot and missed a parts of the Wisconsin game and the game after that with a concussion. Overall when he's healthy and on the field he's productive, and shouldn't be considered an injury risk. Can also contribute on special teams, though is better suited for kick returns. Not a true game-breaker on returns, but solid and consistent.
He did not live up to expectations in 2012 after a strong junior season, but the same can be said of the Illinois defense as a whole. As far as physical gifts and potential are concerned, Hawthorne may have the greatest upside of any Illinois player in this draft, as he has the ability to be a starter in the NFL, and possibly a very good one at that.