How does he fit with the Packers? Thornton will be part of a very strong Packers defensive line rotation. He was the lone bright spot for a very bad Southern Miss team last year. Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac will try to get the most out of him as a player. The hope here has to be that Thornton will be a better pro than he was in college. If he really does turn out to be CJ Wilson this has to be a disappointing pick for the fan base. I’m going to go ahead and concede to Ted Thompson, though his ability to draft defensive linemen is questionable.
NFL comparison: C.J. Wilson
Thornton is similar the the ex-Packer Wilson in that he is mainly a run stuffing defensive end. He only had 1/2 sack last year at Southern Miss.
Thornton certainly looks the part at 6’3″ and 304 pounds. His best quality is to get off the ball quickly to penetrate and make plays in the backfield. However, if Thornton doesn’t shoot the gap quickly he will have trouble beating his man.
PackersTalk.com writers Ross Uglem, Ian Hanley and Matt Bove contributed to this article.