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2019 NFL Scouting Combine: Recapping Clayton Thorson’s performance

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The signal-caller didn’t participate in the running or jumping drills, but threw passes with the rest of the QBs.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Thorson participated in on-field throwing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday, returning to Lucas Oil Stadium to perform for NFL talent evaluators three months after his final Big Ten game, a loss to Ohio State in the conference championship.

Thorson did not participate in the running or jumping aspects of the Combine. WGN’s Adam Hoge reported that Thorson’s training was delayed by the ankle injury the senior sustained the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 31, so he decided to run and jump at his Pro Day on March 12.

The four-year starter was measured along with the rest of the quarterbacks, and threw with the second group Saturday afternoon. Here are Thorson’s measurements and percentiles, via Mock Draftable:

Thorson’s height is what stands out to talent evaluators, and there’s not much about his physical profile to gripe about.

The former Wildcat threw in the second group of quarterbacks, alongside guys like Gardner Minshew, Kyle Shurmur, and Jordan Ta’amu. Each QB got several chances to throw curl, in, out, slant, and go routes to each side of the field.

Thorson missed his first throw on a deep in route, but rebounded to complete his next two passes. The quarterbacks had to deal with timing throws to new receivers, as well as adjusting to a pro-style five-step drop.

Northwestern’s all-time passing leader looked more comfortable throwing out routes, though he did overthrow his receiver on the final toss.

Thorson’s best moment of the day came when he aired out several beautiful tosses on go routes to the left side of the field. Three times in a row, Thorson lofted perfect throws over his receiver’s shoulder downfield.

Throwing to the right side of the field, Thorson had one bad miss on a curl route. Other than that, the Wheaton, Ill. native was on point.

Draft expert Lance Zierlein briefly discussed Thorson on the NFL Network broadcast:

“He’s inconsistent when you watch him. You could see some really good things from him. You see the size at six-four, 222 pounds, got a strong arm. He flashes some big-time tight window throws, but the accuracy was just inconsistent.”

Zierlein added that he projects Thorson to be picked in the fifth or sixth round. His scouting report on Thorson grades the quarterback at 5.4, or NFL backup potential. For reference, Dwayne Haskins is a 6.25, or an instant starter. NFL.com has Thorson graded as the eighth-best quarterback in the 2019 class.

CBSSports.com has Thorson pegged as the seventh-best quarterback in the 2019 class, and the 117th-best prospect overall. ESPN.com has him as a Day 3 selection.

Former Wildcat Nate Hall will go through drills with the linebackers Sunday, and Montre Hartage is scheduled to participate on Monday.