During the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne with the 150th overall pick.
The fifth round selection looks like a bit of a stretch by the Steelers because most mock drafts had Hawthorne as a sixth or seventh round pick at best.
However, Hawthorne will join the Steelers draft class which includes: OLB Jarvis Jones (Georgia), Le’Vonn Bell (Michigan State), WR Markus Wheaton (Oregon State), SS Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse), and QB Landry Jones (Oklahoma).
The big question mark surrounding Terry Hawthorne coming into the draft is his past injuries.
During his sophomore season, he fractured his right foot and missed the first four games of that season. Then, he got bit by the injury bug again in 2012. In Illinois’ game against the Wisconsin Badgers, Hawthorne was taken to the hospital by an ambulance after a head injury (later determined to be a concussion).
Hawthorne’s biggest strength has to be his athleticism. He can match up against opponents’ top receivers, support the run because of his physicality, and create turnovers with his impact.
However, one of his biggest weaknesses is that he is a big risk taker down the field. Also, Hawthorne is inconsistent transitioning forward to stay with out routes, ducks his head coming in for tackles, and body-catches interceptions.
Hawthorne has the athleticism, toughness, and aggressiveness to be good in the NFL, but will need some grooming in order to get there.
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