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The dizzying highs and terrifying lows of Clayton Thorson

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The QB Scho Show #24!

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Northwestern vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Take a journey with us back in time, back when Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson was selected in the 5th round, 167th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles. On second thought, let’s go back even further. Let’s go back to September of 2018.

That’s from Jim Nagy, an 18-year NFL scout who last year took over for Phil Savage as the Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Nagy would later say that Thorson still received a third round grade on “many boards”.

Let’s go back even further than that. Way back in the summer of 2017, Mark Schofield analyzed Thorson heading into his junior season. He highlighted what about Thorson put him on his radar.

“Thorson shows clean and crisp mechanics, with a quick release and solid throwing motion. He’s an athletic quarterback, with the ability to move well in the pocket and can click and climb the pocket when pressure comes off the edges. He shows good velocity and placement, particularly on short- and intermediate-area throws. Thorson is good when pressured and rarely gets flustered, and accuracy and velocity can be maintained when he is on the move or forced to throw off-platform.” - Mark Schofield

It wasn’t all milk and cookies for Thorson, however. Schofield contributes to Matt Waldman’s RSP, and in a video breakdown in the summer of 2018 Waldman highlighted some of Thorson’s issues when processing pre-snap to post-snap.

“Thorson has the size, arm talent, mobility, and budding pocket skills of an NFL player. How well he develops his strategic mind for the game will be a significant factor in his development.” - Matt Waldman

With an ACL injury requiring surgery at the end of his 2017 season, is it possible that Thorson’s development was stunted, or perhaps put on hold? That’s seems to be what the Eagles and the rest of the NFL were banking on. Or perhaps they’re banking on him being Peyton Manning reincarnated?

Probably not.

We dig deeper into Thorson’s game on The QB Scho Show #24, including our thoughts on his three-year projection, strengths, and weaknesses. You can listen to it on the media player below or by clicking here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts? Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!