Analysis: Khyri Thornton was a bit of a surprise pick this early in the draft, as most draft experts had him closer to a 5th round selection. At 6’3” 304, Thornton seems best suited for playing the 5 technique in the Packers 3-4 defensive Scheme. He may not make an instant impact this season, but he has some upside and could play a role in the Packers defensive line rotation.
Thornton was a 3 year starter at Southern Mississippi and had 116 tackles, 30 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.  Thornton has a good strength and should be able to hold up well against double teams and could be a force against the run.

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. writers Ross Uglem, Ian Hanley and Matt Bove contributed to this article.


Ross Uglem is a writer at You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem