It didn’t take long for the NY Giants to sign a replacement for recently replaced QB Cooper Rush, as they once again looked inside the division.
The backup/developmental quarterback carousel continued on Wednesday as the NY Giants signed former Eagles’ 2019 fifth-round draft pick Clayton Thorson to take the place of former Cowboys’ backup quarterback Cooper Rush, who was released by Big Blue on Tuesday.
When the Eagles decided to cut Clayton Thorson last year before his rookie regular season even began it made waves around the league as it is uncommon to see a team give up on a player drafted in the fifth round so quickly, especially a quarterback.
But Eagles’ GM Howie Roseman has shown he will always do what’s best for the team rather than what makes him look best and this was just another example of that.
Thorson was reportedly very unimpressive in training camp and went on to have a mediocre preseason, prompting Philadelphia to go out and sign veteran Josh McCown which pretty much put the writing on the wall.
To make things even odder, the Eagles in essence replaced Thorson with a young, mid-round drafted quarterback of the NY Giants in Kyle Lauletta. Big Blue gave up on Lauletta after just one year in what I thought was a very puzzling move given how solid he looked during the 2019 preseason.
As head coach Doug Peterson explained it, it was simply just a move made for the betterment of the team.
"“I think for us, when we made the decision to sign Josh, obviously that put Clayton in a tough spot, we’ve got to do what’s best for our football team.” He added, “and build our team the way we see fit … We are not just going to keep guys on the team because we draft them in a certain round.”"
Getting to know new NY Giants QB Clayton Thorson
Clayton Thorson chose to attend Northwestern University after an impressive high school football career that saw him rack up over 3,400 total yards (2,809 passing, 630 rushing) and 41 total TD’s (29 passing, 12 rushing).
After redshirting his freshman year due to future NFL quarterback Trevor Siemian being the starter Thorson went on to start all four of the remaining years of his college eligibility.
Although Thorson was never able to put up impressive stats in the Big Ten conference that is known for having tough defenses, he was extremely durable and broke the All-Time Big-Ten record for consecutive games started with 53 and tied with now NY Giants teammate Colt McCoy for most ever for a power-five conference quarterback.
Despite not putting up those impressive stats, Thorson guided Northwestern to one of its most impressive stretches of football in the history of the program as he compiled a 36-17 record against stiff competition.
His best statistical season actually came during Northwestern’s worst team season while he was the starter there (7-6), as he threw for 3,182 yards, 22 TD’s and 9 interceptions. He also added 5 TD’s on the ground and racked up 27 total rushing TD’s during his college career despite rushing for just 408 total yards
All in all, he had a TD/INT ratio of just 61/45 in his four years there while completing just 58% of his passes. Even without terrific numbers, scouts were impressed enough with his 6’4”, 225-pound stature, and strong throwing arm to grade him as a mid-round prospect.
Thorson continued to struggle statistically in the NFL during his rookie preseason games with the Philadelphia Eagles, completing just 52% of his passes while throwing for just 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.
After being released by the Eagles after that rookie preseason, the Cowboys scooped him up off of waivers and he spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with them before being released earlier in September.
The NY Giants are obviously hoping they can harness his athletic ability and big arm and unlock his potential as they don’t have a long-term backup quarterback option currently on their roster, with Colt McCoy not appearing to have much of a future with Big Blue past 2020.
Joe Judge is still speaking very highly of Daniel Jones, as he should, but having a competent backup quarterback is extremely valuable in this league and the NY Giants haven’t had one in quite some time — maybe Thorson ends up being that guy.