NFL Hot Press: Sources Say Thorson Likely to Return to Northwestern

Sources Say Thorson Likely to Return to Northwestern

Updated Dec. 13, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

In terms of national attention, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson is an under-the-radar quarterback prospect for the NFL, but he has a lot of fans in the scouting community. During the fall, multiple teams told WalterFootball they were giving Thorson second-day grades for the 2018 NFL Draft. Thorson has given consideration to skipping his senior year and entering the 2018 NFL Draft, but sources around Northwestern say that Thorson is more likely to return for his senior year.

Early in the fall, one league source said that after being through Northwestern they thought Thorson would enter the 2018 NFL Draft if he received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory. In speaking to a AFC director of college scouting, they gave Thorson a second-round grade and a NFC general manager told me they had Thorson as a late second- or early third-round grade. Teams did feel that Thorson had the potential to rise, as his excellent intangibles could cause him to climb in the projections during the pre-draft interview process, similar to Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft. Those sources said that Thorson is very intelligent, a hard worker, a good teammate, and a leader. However with those grades being submitted, it sounds like Thorson is more inclined to return for his senior year.

Entering his bowl matchup with Kentucky, Thorson has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,809 yards with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has eight rushing touchdowns, too. His numbers were held back by the liabilities around him. His offensive line struggled in many games, while his wide receivers lacked speed and play-making ability. Sources also said they want to see Thorson make improvements, including being less mechanical in his throwing motion. Still, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Thorson has a good skill set with a strong arm and athletic ability.

Source around Northwestern said that Thorson was likely to return, but the decision was not set in stone and that he could change his mind. If Thorson does go back to school and improves with the Wildcats getting better talent around him, he could be a top quarterback prospect to watch for the 2019 NFL Draft.