Clayton Thorson

QB, Northwestern

  • Conf Big Ten - West
  • Jersey #18
  • Class RS Senior
  • HT 6'3"
  • DOB --
  • WT 225 lbs



    Accuracy - Ball placement is spotty, especially down the field and when under pressure. Does well to work the ball between zones when hitting short, timing stuff. Ball doesn't always spin off his hand cleanly which impacts his ability to put the ball where he wants it. Limited vertical passer.

    Arm Strength - Puts ordinary zip on the football and it certainly doesn't explode off his hand. Knows when to dial up the fastball and drop it in with touch. Ball noticeably slows down as it nears his targets on out breaking patterns and down the field.

    Decision Making - Illustrates good patience in the pocket to allow routes to develop but turtles when pressure arrives. Will force throws into windows it cannot fit. Results of testing man coverage is inconsistent. Has too much confidence in his modest arm at times.

    Anticipation - Has some positive flashes, particularly against zone coverage of allowing routes to develop and pulling the trigger at the right time to hit his targets between zones if his protection holds up. Challenging leverage down the field is highly inconsistent.

    Pocket Skills - Feels the outside rush fairly well and is able to climb the pocket while keeping his eyes up and hitting his check downs. Is guilty of abandoning a clean pocket on occasion. Turtles under pressure and struggles to find quick platforms when needed. Fades away from pressure in his face.

    Throwing Mechanics - Has an efficient throwing motion that isn't elongated. Release points are fairly consistent when his base is set. Is guilty of flat footed throws and he struggles to execute off platform throws. Ball doesn't always come off his hand clean and will flutter.

    Feet - Has good rhythm in his three-step drops to his his back foot and deliver. Not as comfortable with deeper drops or when he takes an extra hitch. Setting a quick base is a challenge. Has enough foot quickness to climb the pocket.

    Progressions - Will read the entire field but is also guilty of seeing plays through a straw at times. Not solely a one-read passer but lacks consistency when his first read is not available. Needs to do more with eyes/pumps to move coverage and create throwing windows.

    Run - Not a candidate for designed runs and picking up yards with his feet as a scrambler reveals a lack of natural ability as a runner. Ability to extend plays and throw on the move is below average.

    BEST TRAIT - Rhythm Throws

    WORST TRAIT - Vertical Ball Placement

    RED FLAGS - None

    Thorson has the ability to hit rhythm throws and illustrates a quick trigger to be proficient in a west coast scheme that features timing throws. In terms of working his progressions, ball placement, arm strength and handling pressure, Thorson is a limited prospect which inhibits the notion that he has starter potential. By year three, Thorson could be a No. 2 quarterback but major growth is needed.

    Round Grade: Late Day 3 Value