The Denver Broncos want to put Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson through a workout. Would they take him in the 2019 NFL Draft?
The Denver Broncos are likely to be drafting a quarterback in 2019.
Of course, everyone thought the same thing in 2018, and it never happened. But this time, we’re pretty positive it’s going to happen at some point among the Broncos’ eight picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and among the players under consideration is Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson.
According to Mike Klis, Thorson will be put through a private workout in the Chicago area by the Broncos prior to the 2019 NFL Draft.
The last time the Broncos went to the “Chicagoland area” to work out a quarterback, they drafted Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian.
Siemian’s replacement at Northwestern has now been the starter for four years and is moving on to the NFL. Let’s get a better idea of who this guy is as a player and leader.
In four seasons at Northwestern, the Wildcats had a 36-17 record with Thorson as the starting quarterback. In the Big Ten, that’s not bad at all (average of 9-4 record per year).
Statistically, Thorson improved just about every year in college, completing over 60 percent of his passes over his final two seasons as the starter and throwing 61 touchdowns compared to 45 interceptions. He also had 27 rushing touchdowns, mostly on sneaks.
His numbers are honestly pretty reflective of the type of play you see on a grander scale. Thorson has pretty average tools, a lot of experience in a tough conference, and enough skill to be a high-end backup and spot starter in the NFL.
There’s nothing about his game that is overly spectacular, but some felt he was on a first-round trajectory early in his career at Northwestern.
Thorson has experience working in a pro-style offense and has done things in college the Broncos will utilize under Rich Scangarello, like operating from under center, running bootlegs and play-action, and taking a variety of drops.
Though Thorson doesn’t have any specific outstanding trait, he has a solid all-around game and though it’s not the most exciting draft pick you can make, you need a good backup quarterback in the NFL who can help you win games in a pinch.
If the Broncos invested higher than a fifth-round pick in Thorson, however, it would be a bit of a disappointment. Regardless of the talent around him at Northwestern (or lack thereof) his touchdown/interception ratio as a passer is not impressive, and perhaps even less impressive is the fact that he averaged 6.3 yards per attempt over four years.
Is this guy going to be an effective enough downfield thrower to be a true starting option at the next level? Apparently, he has more in the tank than his tape leads on.
As far as the Broncos are concerned, this might be the best endorsement for Thorson I have seen yet.
Coming off of a torn ACL in 2018, many believe the best is still yet to come from Thorson, who blew people away at the Northwestern pro day, making throws all over the field and on the move.
The workout apparently ended with a victory formation kneel down, which is pretty hilarious.
According to ESPN’s Todd McShay, Thorson is an impressive young man as well. He told the Chicago Tribune that Thorson should try to ‘get in front of as many teams as possible’ before the draft to show them what kind of person he is.
If the Broncos are putting Thorson through a private workout, that could mean they were among the teams most impressed by his pro day.
The Broncos have two picks in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. That would be the ideal place to be able to get Thorson, who would be a developmental project behind Joe Flacco and perhaps even Kevin Hogan for a year.