On the clock: Hugh Thornton (picked 86th by Colts)
UPDATE: Hugh Thornton was picked by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round (86th pick overall) on Friday night.
A glance at five Illini who could hear their name called by an NFL team before the weekend ends. Next up ...
Thornton’s career at Illinois: Started more than half of the games each of his four seasons, compilng 35 starts in his career. Of those starts, 18 came at a guard spot and 17 came at a tackle position. If he wants to have a successful NFL career, chances are he’s better suited for a guard position than tackle.
In his own words: “Whatever God wants to happen in my life, it’s going to happen as far as what city I’ll be in and what team I’ll play for, or if I’ll go drafted or undrafted.”
Our projection: Seahawks, fifth round, 158th overall
Reasoning: The numbers don’t lie. The NFL is becoming more of a passing game each year. Pass protection isn’t Thornton’s greatest attribute. Run blocking and forcing defensive linemen to the ground is his calling card. Which is why when Pete Carroll’s team gives his cell phone a call, not only will Thornton get a chance to live the lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest he enjoys, but also block for a team that values the run.