NFL Hot Press: Clayton Thorson Growing on Two NFL General Managers

Clayton Thorson Growing on Two NFL General Managers

Updated Feb. 27, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

 While the media hype train has been largely focused on Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, there are other quarterbacks who are rising with team evaluators. Among those risers is Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson. Two general managers told me that Thorson was growing on them and they felt that he would continue to rise during the pre-draft process.

“I started off a little skeptical, but he’s really grown on me,” said a NFC general manager. “I was getting real enthusiastic about him and I watched him some more. I didn’t like how he missed badly on some underneath crossing routes that you have to complete, but there were lots of great throws. I don’t think there’s any way he gets out of the second day.”

Another general manager of an AFC team said that Thorson grew on him. Thorson (6-4, 227) has good size to go along with a strong arm. He was more of a mobile quarterback early in his collegiate career, but as a senior, he was restricted in his running coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in the bowl game against Kentucky to conclude his junior year. Still, he had nine rushing scores as a senior. 

Thorson enters the draft with a lot of experience and has the most starts in Big 10 history (53 straight). Thorson also is known to have great intangibles, as he is a team leader with intelligence and work ethic.

“He’s a Patriots kind of guy,” said the NFC general manager. “He’s got Patriot written all over him.”

New England has five picks on the second day of the draft with two in the second round and three in the third round. Perhaps one of those will be used on Thorson to be an understudy to Tom Brady. Regardless of whether or not New England takes him, multiple teams believe that Thorson will be picked in the second or third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.