BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots are certainly doing their homework on quarterbacks that will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Patriots welcomed Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson to New England for a pre-draft visit recently, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
Neither are high on many draft boards and both are projected to be mid-to-late round picks in a couple of weeks. Stidman is coming off his junior season at Auburn where he threw for 2,794 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions. In his three-year collegiate career, split between Baylor and Auburn, Stidman completed 64 percent of his passes for 7,217 yards, 48 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran for nine touchdowns during his college days.
Thorson threw for 3,183 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as a senior at Northwestern last season. He started games for the Wildcats all four years, going 36-17 under center while completing 58 percent of his passes for 10,731 yards, 61 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. Thorson also rushed for 27 touchdowns in his career at Northwestern, finding the end zone nine times as a senior.
Of course, the Patriots are pretty set at QB at the moment with 41-year-old Tom Brady still playing at a high level. But Bill Belichick is expected to use one of his 12 upcoming draft picks on another quarterback this year, as he begins to prepare for the future without Brady (again). Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling — a seventh-round pick in 2018 who spent the season on the practice squad — are the other quarterbacks on New England’s depth chart at the moment.
In addition to having Stidham and Thorson in for a visit, the Patriots have met with West Virginia’s Will Grier and Duke’s Daniel Jones this draft season.