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NFL Draft 2019: Thorson meets with New England and Carolina, teammates visit Green Bay

It’s pre-draft visit season.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl - Northwestern v Utah Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

As the 2019 NFL Draft approaches, Northwestern’s cohort of prospects has been participating in several pre-draft team visits.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson met with the New England Patriots recently, and NU’s all-time passing leader will also head to Charlotte later in the week to chat with the Panthers, per Tom Pelissero.

Carolina has demonstrated a fair amount of interest in Thorson. A group of decision-makers, including offensive coordinator Norv Turner, evaluated Thorson at his Pro Day last month. Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Panthers also met with Thorson on the eve of his on-field workout.

In February, Ron Rivera said the Panthers would not pursue a quarterback in free agency. Carolina currently has three quarterbacks on its roster: starter Cam Newton, and backups Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke.

Thorson has been mocked anywhere from the third round to the fifth round by various experts over the past couple of weeks. The Patriots, who possess a few third round picks thanks to compensatory action, have been a favorite for the Northwestern QB in that regard. Currently, behind Tom Brady, their only rostered quarterbacks are the aging Bryan Hoyer and Danny Etling.

Meanwhile, a host of former Wildcats traveled up to Green Bay for the Packers’ “local” pro day. Here’s the full list, from the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Olivia Reiner:

Defensive lineman Tyler Lancaster, who ascended from undrafted free agent to starting defensive tackle for Green Bay in 2018, joined some of his former teammates.

Thorson is certainly outpacing his teammates in the hype department, but the Wildcats should, at a minimum, see plenty of the guys mentioned above at least get a chance as undrafted free agents (Hartage still has realistic hopes of being a Day Three selection). That contingent will look to follow in Lancaster’s footsteps.

The NFL Draft is slated to get underway April 25 in Nashville, Tenn.