UAB Blazers running back Darrin Reaves (5) runs away from a tackle by Southern Miss Golden Eagles defensive lineman Khyri Thornton (98) during their game at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Chuck Cook - USA TODAY Sports

Khyri Thornton: Here's some analysis


Ok, admit you didn’t have Khyri Thornton on your board either, did you?

Well, Ted Thompson did.

He selected the 6-3, 304-pound defensive tackle, not only because he loves drafting linemen, but because the Packers are in need of defensive help … period.

But with B.J. Raji running on a single-season contract and three other linemen who were on the Packers roster last year no longer with the team, the Packers surely have room for rebuilding.

But who is Khyri Thornton? Well, let’s take a look at what the analysts are saying about the Packers; most recent pick.

Here’s what has to say about him:

Thornton is a disruptive force in the middle of the Southern Miss defensive line. He has good size for a 4-3 defensive tackle and demonstrates the ability to beat blockers with explosiveness or power. He is a solid run defender, capable of anchoring at the point of attack or penetrating to disrupt plays in the backfield. Good pursuit speed indicates pass rush upside as well, but he needs to play with better leverage through contact and develop his pass rush moves to maximize his quickness off the snap. If Thornton can put it all together in his senior year, we could see a substantial rise in his stock leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft. -Jeremy Hyde06/07

Here’s what has to say:

STRENGTHS: Fluid lower body and easy movement skills with active feet to quickly redirect, showing some range – natural on his feet…fires off the snap with smooth acceleration, getting to his top speed quickly…quick hands and reflexes…very active and plays with energy, effort and hustle – pesky player for all four quarters…has developed his upper body strength and uses his hand grip to tear through blocks.

Has some lead in his lower body to anchor and hold his ground…persevering, positive attitude and carries himself well…puts in the work off the field…versatile experience (28 career starts) as a 4-3 under DT and also at DE and the tilted NT spot with USM’s multiple fronts.

WEAKNESSES: Appears maxed out physically and lacks ideal length…too easily stonewalled at the POA and needs to add more ammo to his hands and provide more of a consistent shock at contact…pops upright too often and needs to maintain his pad level to create proper leverage…undeveloped hand technique and too easily handled by single rushers – functional strength is average-at-best and ends up hand fighting.

Pass rush instincts are lacking and needs to be more technically sound in his approach…leaves production on the field and needs to be more reliable in his movements to finish when the ballcarrier is in the area…minor durability concerns after missing the final game of 2013 due to injury…lackluster career production, especially as a pass rusher with only 5.5 career sacks – his sack total decreased each of his four seasons in school.

–Dane Brugler

And here’s what has to say:


Flashes shock in his hands. Solid anchor strength. Versatile and lines up all along the front. Flashes speed and short-area burst to flatten down the line and close to the ball. Three-year starter.


Has short arms and small hands. Could do a better job working off blocks, creating separation and protecting his legs. Tends to wear down and tire late in games and effort wanes. Needs to develop more pass-rush moves — stays blocked too long. Relies too much on his upper-body strength. Can be late to locate the ball and needs to do a better job of feeling blocking pressure and anticipating. Misses a lot of tackles. Minimal sack production.


Here’s what The Draft Insider says:

Positive: Three-year starter who finished with 39 tackles, and 6.5 tackles for loss as a senior after 36 and 9.5 the prior year. Explosive interior lineman who projects as a 3-technique tackle. Fires off the snap with a terrific first step, plays with good pad level, and easily changes direction. Moves well laterally, chases down the line of scrimmage, and gets outside the box to make plays. Aggressive, fights with his hands from the snap of the ball, and works hard.
Negative: At times easily blocked from the action by a single opponent. Lacks bulk on the inside. Average production in college and a marginal pass rusher.
Analysis: Thornton was a consistent performer at Southern Mississippi and possesses the physical skill and football ability to backup in a four-man line at the next level.
Here are his statistics from the NFL Combine

Height: 6-3
Weight: 304
Bench reps: 28
40 time: 5.03
Vertical: 29.0
Broad jump: 112.0
3-cone: 7.83
20-yard shuttle: 4.76

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