By all accounts, Giants quarterback Clayton Thorson probably won't see the field for New York-- as in at all this year. While Thorson will be in training camp with the Giants this summer, his role on the team could very well end up being similar to the one backup quarterback Alex Tanney held last year, which we'll get to in a bit.
What He Brings
Thorson, whose father Chad signed as an undrafted free agent linebacker with the Giants after the 1990 NFL draft (the 1990 draft being the first time juniors were eligible to declare), is a decent enough athlete capable of making plays with his legs.
At Northwestern, he stepped into the starting role as a redshirt freshman after Trevor Siemian graduated. Thorson threw for 150 of 295 passes for 1,522 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions, racking 397 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
When Thorson finished his college career, he had completed 991 passes out of 1,696 attempts (58.4%) for 10,731 yards, 61 TDs, and 45 INTs (118.1 rating).
Although a mobile quarterback, he finished with 362 rushing attempts for 408 yards (1.1 yards/carry) and 27 touchdowns, capping a college career in which he became at the time the only quarterback in Big Ten history to pass for 10,000 yards and rush for 20 touchdowns in his career.
Thorson, who tore his ACL at the end of his junior season (2017), set another Big Ten record when he started 53 consecutive games.
Here is what NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote about Thorson in his draft scouting report:
Four-year starter with good size and fundamentals who never really improved after his breakout 2016 season. Thorson was hamstrung by below-average talent at the skill positions but never showed an ability to work beyond his offense's limitations. His limited field vision combined with plus physical traits gives him a chance to become an average backup in a pro-style offense.
The Eagles drafted Thorson in the fifth round of the 2019 draft, but he was part of the final wave of training camp moves and signed by the Cowboys to their practice squad.
Thorson, who has been with the Giants practice squad since September 29 of last year, was elevated to the main roster in Weeks 13 and 15 when starter Daniel Jones was sidelined.
Thorson signed a two-year reserve/futures contract worth $1.491 million, including a $6,000 signing bonus. He will count for $663,000 against the 2021 cap.
Thorson probably won't make the 53-man roster, where the quarterbacks will be Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon.
But with the world still in the grip of a pandemic, it's not out of the question for Thorson, who was with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett in Dallas for a year, to serve as the Giants' emergency COVID-19 quarterback, a role in which he'll likely be kept off-site for his and the club's protection.
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