Strengths: Is a one-gap penetrating DT with excellent size and natural quickness for his size. Shows the ability to win with his first step when he's fresh. Has a powerful upper body but is tall and lean. Is quick and can be very disruptive. When he is playing with a high motor, he is extremely difficult to block one-on-one in the running game. Is quick and can be extremely disruptive. Not great sack production but is effective as a penetrating interior DL that collapses the pocket. He gets through the line, gets behind blocks, and makes a lot of plays in pursuit. Is a powerful tackler with good short-area burst when he's closing in on the quarterback or ball carrier. He has long and strong arms that he uses to keep separation. He has a lot of powerful upper body moves in order to disengage. Has good awareness as a pass rusher and will bat down several balls at the LOS.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal lower body strength and will get pushed around too much when OL get into his pads. He wears down too quickly and needs to improve his stamina. He does not have elite athleticism or closing burst. Is stiff when it comes to changing directions. Has marginal top-end speed. Has very good initial quickness for his size when he is fresh. However, when he starts to wear down he can look lethargic and will come out of his stance too high. Motor is extremely inconsistent. Takes too many plays off. Doesn't give a consistent effort on every play.
Overall: Hawthorne took over as a starter late in his true freshman season in 2001 and was a fulltime starter from that point on. As a junior in 2003, he finished with 75 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles. He finished his career at Wisconsin with 41-consecutive starts and had another impressively productive season as a senior in 2004, finishing with 42 total tackles, 11.5 TFL, six sacks and one INT, despite facing nearly constant double-team attention. Hawthorne is a "boom-or-bust" prospect. He is a powerful defensive tackle prospect with great size, good strength and above average quickness. When he is giving a full effort and playing with leverage, he can be extremely tough to block. However, his motor is extremely inconsistent and he has a tendency to play too high when he wears down. He takes too many plays off and won't look like the same player from one down to the next. Hawthorne has the potential to develop into an impact starter in the NFL if he's drafted by a team that uses a one-gap scheme and if he decides to work harder on-and-off the field. Because of his inconsistency, lack of ideal top-end speed and tendency to get pushed around when he plays too high, Hawthorne will likely slip out of the first round.
* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.