This morning, we'll look at another gratuitous Illini potential draft pick; this time, we'll look at someone who hopefully could be a huge thorn in the side of opposing defensive linemen.
Illinois' offense doesn't have quite the talent, nor the coaching, of the defense - there's no way to sugarcoat it, really. When the run game sucks, the offense just, well, sucks. But Hugh Thornton is a bright spot and NFL talent on that poor unit. He has extensive guard experience as well as playing the entire 2012 season at left tackle. At 6'3", he's a little on the tall side to play in the interior, but his side-to-side movement could be a hinderance on his outside ability, limiting him to a tall guard. He's strong and willing to finish his blocks once engaged, and the explosiveness to get engaged quickly and stay with his assignment.
NFLDraftScout and CBS rate Thornton as the #8 offensive guard prospect and a fifth or sixth round pick, the 176th prospect in the draft. WalterFootball pushes him to the Texans at pick 121, in the fourth round, but the 13th-ranked guard in the draft.
What are your thoughts on Thornton? Would you consider him a mid-round fit for the Bears' offensive line woes?