Terry Hawthorne, a very intriguing cornerback in this year’s draft, is hoping to continue the tradition of Illini players being taken in the draft. Last year, Tavon Wilson shocked many when the New England Patriots selected him in the second round.
Now Hawthorne, who had a sub-par season in 2012, is hoping to get an early selection and play for a team that can compete by adding his talents to their secondary.
Hawthorne has matched up very well against the top receivers in the Big Ten, and hopes that will translate to the NFL.
His athleticism allows him to line up on the outside to defend the sideline pass well, but also allows him to play against the run. His quick footwork allows him to play against the poor pass well and his quickness makes him a prime candidate to pick off a bad pass. He has never been afraid to put his body on the line, as he often makes tackles and plays on guys much larger than him.
On the downside, Hawthorne is a big risk taker on the field. This has paid off at times, but can often burn a him in the NFL.
He has shown in the past that he prefers to make catches against his body, and will need to prove he has the ability to catch passes away from his body in order to have success in the NFL.
One of the teams that could use a guy like Hawthorne to put in the secondary to learn some fundamentals is the Green Bay Packers. He has the ability to fit in well with the scheme they run. In addition, the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams could take a shot at him.
Hawthorne could possibly be selected late on day two, but likely will be a third day pick to a team looking to add youth with high upside in their secondary.
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