Hugh Thornton is a talented player, and he has shown that talent at times for the Indianapolis Colts since he was drafted in 2013. The problem for him has been consistency.
That consistency is two-fold: first, it means consistently being on the field. Second, it means consistently playing to his potential. We haven't seen consistency at either of the two areas from Thornton, and that's why he's competing for a starting spot once again this offseason. He's the presumptive favorite at right guard, but nothing is guaranteed at this point.
Thornton has been putting in work this offseason to improve, and part of that has included losing weight. He's still listed as 324 pounds on the team's official roster (and has weighed more than that at times, too), but he told Colts.com's Kevin Bowen that he was down to weighing around 300 pounds earlier this offseason and is currently at 315 pounds. He's hoping that slimming down helps him stay healthy and stay on the field.
“The power is still there," he said. "The strength is still there. The endurance is still there. I’m just lighter on my feet. I’m able to move around, block more, move my feet quicker and I think it will help with longevity.”
There's certainly reason to not give up hope on Thornton yet, and it seems as if he still factors into the Colts' plans. He won't just be given the starting right guard spot, but he'll be very much in the mix at the spot. If he can prove that he can stay on the field and play consistently when he is on the field, he could wind up being a solid starter, especially with Ryan Kelly playing beside him. Those are big ifs right now, but there's at least some reason for hope.
“This is probably the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Thornton told Bowen. “Going back to college, high school, probably just the most well-rounded - physically, mentally, spiritually. I’m just in a great place and I’m excited to see how this transformation is going to take place on the field.”