|A consistent offensive lineman with NFL potential, scouts believe Thornton displayed enough year-to-year development at Illinois to merit a late-round selection. Thornton became a starter at right tackle over the last seven games of his freshman season. He became firmly entrenched on the Illini front, making 18 starts at weak-side guard the following two seasons before moving to left tackle and receiving second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2012. With good arm length and upper-body strength, Thornton often fires out of his stance and finishes blocks to the ground. He's also shown enough athleticism and straight-line speed to pick up blocks downfield. At the NFL combine, Thornton ran a 5.11 40-yard dash and finished with 27 repetitions in the bench press. He matched his numbers from the combine during a strong performance at Illinois' Pro Day in March. Thornton has drawn comparisons to Kevin Boothe and Sean Locklear with his strong frame, but scouts believe he may lack the ideal height, length and lateral movement to stay on the outside at the next level. With his upper-body strength and foot quickness, Thornton is considered a solid interior lineman prospect with starter upside and could go as high as the fifth round.