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.
Add two more names to the list of QBs the #Patriots have done extra pre-draft work on: Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Northwestern's Clayton Thorson both visited recently, sources say. Stidham also visited the #Panthers, who will host Thorson this week.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 15, 2019
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:
Here is a list of draft-eligible players from Wisconsin, Northwestern and NIU that attended the #Packers' pro day yesterday. pic.twitter.com/q5mz7tHJau— Olivia Reiner (@ReinerOlivia) April 12, 2019
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.
Big 'Cats contingent up north for @packers Pro Day workouts.— Northwestern Football (@NUFBFamily) April 12, 2019
Who might join @BigLanny6767 in Green Bay?#ProCats pic.twitter.com/KrJEM7OveC
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.