Clayton Thorson has been drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles as the 29th pick in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. He becomes the second Northwestern quarterback of the decade to be drafted by the Eagles on Day Three, joining Mike Kafka.
At the beginning of last fall, some outlets had Thorson as a projected first-round pick and a potential top five quarterback in the draft class, but over the last few months, his projected draft position settled between the third and fifth rounds.
There was talk as to who was most interested in Thorson, with Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner notably attending his Pro Day. All 32 NFL teams were in attendance, but only Carolina met with him after his drills. Some also had him going to the Patriots at the end of the third round.
Thorson didn’t partake in running or jumping drills at the Combine as he was recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the Holiday Bowl, but he did throw with the other quarterbacks. He was not perfect, missing a few intermediate throws, but impressed with his strong arm on deep balls.
Northwestern has now had players drafted in five consecutive years. Thorson is the second consecutive Wildcat signal-caller to be taken (Trevor Siemian in 2015) and the third taken this decade.
Thorson leaves NU as the all-time leader in games started, touchdowns, passing yards and completions. His status as a program legend is secure, and now he will try to make an impact at the highest level.