3. Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
Projected to go in the third or fourth round, Big Ten quarterback Clayton Thorson is a prospect the New England Patriots should consider with one of their three third-round picks if they don’t use one or two of them to move up in an earlier round for either an offensive playmaker or QB they fill is a better fit.
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At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Thorson is a four-year starter who had his best season in college in 2016 throwing for 3,182 yards and setting a school record with 22 touchdown passes. He followed that year up with a solid season as a junior but suffered a torn ACL in the Music City Bowl.
An injury that certainly slowed him a bit, Thorson did return to start 14 games in his senior year. Again, throwing for over 3,000 yards, the Northwestern product showed he could produce big numbers with limited talent around him like Tom Brady at points in his career.
Unlike Brady, Thorson does lack field vision which contributes to his lack of consistency finding open receivers once his first option is abruptly taken away. An offensive coordinator like Josh McDaniels can work with him on that, especially with the physical attributes he does have.
Along with his height, he does have some intangibles that stand out and would work in the type of offense the New England Patriots run. He does have good ball placement and can stand in the pocket long enough to work through his reads.
With an impressive Pro Day, Clayton Thorson has gained the eye of some NFL teams. The Patriots should certainly consider him if they don’t take a quarterback in a higher round.