Football: Clayton Thorson picked 167th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL Draft


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Clayton Thorson takes the field ahead of a 2018 game. The former NU quarterback was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

Ella Brockway, Sports Editor

Northwestern’s all-time winningest quarterback is taking his talents to Philly.

Clayton Thorson was drafted No. 167 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 5th round of this weekend’s NFL Draft. Thorson was the ninth quarterback chosen in the Draft.

The Wheaton, Ill. native finished his career with the Wildcats as the program leader in passing yards (10,731), completions (991) and touchdowns (61). He started 53 straight games in four seasons, setting a record for the most games started by a Big Ten quarterback, and led NU to three straight bowl victories and the program’s first-ever Big Ten divisional title.

Before Saturday, many projections saw Thorson going to a team in the fourth or fifth round, and he was linked to the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers. Thorson’s wait grew longer when both of those teams chose quarterbacks in the third and fourth rounds — Will Grier of West Virginia to the Panthers with the 100th pick and Jarrett Stidham of Aubum to the Patriots at No. 133 overall — until the Eagles made their selection.

The Eagles’ projected 2019 starter under center is Carson Wentz, who led the team to a Super Bowl in 2017 and threw for 3,074 yards in 11 games last season. Luis Perez and former Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld are the other signal-callers currently on Philadelphia’s roster. The Eagles finished 9-7 and second in the NFC East last season, losing in the divisional playoffs to the New Orleans Saints.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that a former Cat has been chosen in the draft, the program’s longest stretch since a seven-year streak from 1997 to 2003. Thorson is also the fifth NU quarterback to be ever selected in the draft, and the third since 2010. At the time of Thorson’s selection, no other former NU players had been drafted.

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