You can save the QB controversy talk, but the Eagles have found their developmental prospect.
With pick No. 167 in the fifth round, the Eagles selected quarterback Clayton Thorson from Northwestern.
Doug Pederson and the rest of the organization have talked about drafting a developmental quarterback to groom in the system. Thorson is now that guy. He’ll be behind Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld, but Thorson will join the quarterback room with a chance to grow. And if Wentz’s back isn’t completely healed in OTAs, Thorson (6-4, 222) might get more spring reps than expected.
The Eagles hadn’t drafted a quarterback since Wentz at No. 2 in 2016. The Eagles did bring in Sudfeld and they viewed him as a developmental player, sort of like a draft pick. Pederson has said before that he'd like to draft a quarterback every year.
The Eagles initially had pick 163, but traded back with the Patriots to pick up 167 and 246 in the seventh round. Wentz’s former teammate at North Dakota State, Easton Stick, went one pick earlier, at 166, to the Chargers.
In four seasons at Northwestern, Thorson completed 58.4 percent of his passes for over 10,000 yards and 61 touchdowns to just 45 interceptions.
At the combine, Thorson was asked what made him stand out among the group of quarterbacks:
I think my experience is one, but we've got a couple guys with some experience. I think some of my strengths are with my offense, we're taught to do from an early age at Northwestern is throw with anticipation in some tight windows. I think that. I think another thing is my ability to escape the pocket and keep plays alive. I think that's been a strength of mine and that's allowed us to win a lot of games with me rushing for 27 touchdowns in my career and throwing for another 61. I think that part of my game is huge. Another thing is just realizing different passes have different ball speeds and different routes, so I think my understanding of the game is at a really high level.
The last time the Eagles took a player from Northwestern, they selected QB Mike Kafka in the fourth round back in 2010.
Thorson’s father, Chad, was a linebacker out of Wheaton College, who was actually with the Eagles for six weeks in the early 90s, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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