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Making Sense of the Eagles Drafting Clayton Thorson

Updated: May 8, 2019

Today the Eagles were able to obtain an extra draft pick in the 7th round by swapping 5th round picks with the New England Patriots. With their 5th round selection, the Eagles took quarterback Clayton Thorson from Northwestern

The move made some fans angry, and have questioned Howie Roseman for using one of his valuable six picks on a quarterback who will likely be 3rd on the depth chart in 2019. Here are some of the reasons why this move could make sense from the Eagles' standpoint.

Carson Wentz's Health

It's not a secret that Wentz now has the injury prone label on him likely for the rest of his career. With back-to-back season-ending injuries, the Eagles need to have a contingency plan at quarterback, especially with Nick Foles now in Jacksonville. God forbid if Wentz were to go down again, Nate Sudfeld would go under center. The Eagles front office is high on Sudfeld and think he could be a quarterback capable of managing teams to some wins. In this scenario Sudfeld would then need a backup, and maybe the team feels more comfortable having a quarterback who already knows the playbook from training camp in Thorson than in someone they bring in off the streets in the middle of the season.

Nate Sudfeld's Uncertain Future With the Eagles

This offseason Sudfeld was a restricted free agent, meaning his was basically forced to come back to Philadelphia if he wanted to continue his NFL career. Sudfeld signed his one-year tender worth $3 Million, and is now preparing to be the #2 guy in Philadelphia. If he does end up getting significant playing time and performing well, Sudfeld would become a hot commodity in 2020's free agency, and with the Eagles soon to be likely hindered in cap space by Carson Wentz's upcoming mega-contract, the team won't be able to afford him. Thorson will be dirt cheap, and with a full year of learning under his belt he will enter 2020 with a good possibility of becoming Carson Wentz's backup.

Thorson Could Become Backup This Season

The selection of Thorson has allowed the Eagles a few different routes to take in the future, and possibly this season. During training camp and the preseason, Sudfeld and Thorson should see a majority of the snaps. If both Sudfeld and Thorson perform well, the team could see Sudfeld become a trade piece before the 2019 season starts, and feel comfortable enough with Thorson being the contingency plan.


Eagles fans were upset about this pick because they felt the team needed more depth at the linebacker and/or safety positions, but at the end of the day the most important position on the field is quarterback. The Eagles want to make sure they have a Plan B in place if Carson Wentz's health comes into question this season and in the future, and now we know their Plan B involves Clayton Thorson.

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