Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad offensive lineman Hugh Thornton of Illinois (72) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl south squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Day 2 of the 2013 NFL Draft brought yet another new addition to the Indianapolis Colts. With the 86th pick in the third round, the Colts selected guard Hugh Thornton of Illinois. The Colts did not have a pick in the second round, relinquishing it to the Miami Dolphins last season when they traded for cornerback Vontae Davis.
With Thornton, the Colts address another big need at the guard position and get an immediate upgrade. Thornton could find himself in a starting role as early as Week 1. The 6’3″, 320-lb Thornton started 10 games in 2012 and 35 games total for Illinois. He’s played and started at left tackle, right tackle, left guard, and right guard, making him incredibly versatile. In 2012, Thornton was voted Second Team All-Big Ten by the coaches and got an honorable mention from the media.
A former heavyweight wrestler, Thornton is strong and incredibly tough – both physically and mentally. When he was younger, his parents divorced, and in 2004, his mother and sister were tragically murdered in Jamaica. Thornton has persevered through some very difficult times to rise to the pinnacle of sports that is the NFL. He has the kind of the character that should fit in perfectly with the Colts’ locker room.
Thornton also has a direct connection to the Colts. He was coached at Illinois by Joe Gilbert, the Colts’ offensive line coach.
Following the selection, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah tweeted, “Like the Colts pick…Hugh Thornton has quick feet and a strong base. He should be a day one starter at OG.”
Another solid pick for Indianapolis.
The Colts have four more selections to make (121, 192, 230, and 254 – Mr. Irrelevant), which will all happen tomorrow in the 4th through 7th rounds.