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April 27, 2019

Eagles select Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson with the 167th pick in 2019 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL

With their fifth round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, 167th overall, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Northwestern QB quarterback Clayton Thorson.

Thorson is a big quarterback at 6'4, 222, and he fits the physical profile of some of the other quarterbacks the Eagles have brought in since the Howie Roseman / Doug Pederson regime began.

Quarterback Height Weight 
 Carson Wentz6'5 237 
 Nick Foles6'6 243 
 Nate Sudfeld6'6 227 
 Clayton Thorson6'4 222 

Thorson was thought of as a "second tier quarterback" in this draft, with most projecting him to be an early Day 3 pick. A highlight reel:

Back in the Andy Reid days, the Eagles used to draft a quarterback every two or three years, which is something Jeffrey Lurie has stated he would like to get back to doing. The following is a list of quarterbacks the Eagles have drafted since the start of the Andy Reid era:

 YearPlayer Round Overall 
 1999Donovan McNabb 
 2001A.J. Feeley 155 
 2004Andy Hall 185 
 2007Kevin Kolb 36 
 2010 Mike Kafka122 
 2012Nick Foles 88 
 2013Matt Barkley 98 
 2016Carson Wentz 
2019 Clayton Thorson 167 

The Eagles would eventually trade McNabb, Feeley, Kolb, Foles, and Barkley, once they were no longer of use to the team, and in three of those cases, they received great value in return. 

While drafting quarterbacks has been a good long-term investment strategy for the Eagles, it wouldn't have made sense for them to draft one last year, with Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Nate Sudfeld in place. This year, with Foles now in Jacksonville and Sudfeld scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, it absolutely makes sense to reintroduce that draft-and-develop tradition.

But what kind of quarterback would they be looking for?

"We’re very conscious of the culture," Lurie said at the NFL annual meetings, when asked about the getting back to the strategy of drafting quarterbacks with regularity. "We’ve had an incredible quarterback room, with Carson, Nick, and Nate. It’s one of the reasons they’re all so poised for success. That quarterback that we bring in – let’s say it’s this year’s draft or next year’s draft – it needs to be a great fit in that room, so you’re not just drafting a player that can be a good backup quarterback, but somebody that can help the culture with the quarterback who is starting. You want a relationship that is healthy, where they help each other. That’s a key part of it too."

Thorson is thought of as an intelligent quarterback, who would fit Lurie's description.

MORE: Live: 2019 NFL Draft Day 3 open thread | Eagles select Penn State DE Shareef Miller in fourth round | Updated Eagles 2019 NFL Draft board | A few players the Eagles likely wouldn't mind trading for draft picks

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