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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Payton Thorne, QB, Auburn

Payton Thorne will be showcasing his talents this year at Auburn after transferring from Michigan State. Hula Bowl scout Brinson Bagley breaks down Thorne as an NFL Prospect in his report.
Payton Thorne will be showcasing his talents this year at Auburn after transferring from Michigan State. Hula Bowl scout Brinson Bagley breaks down Thorne as an NFL Prospect in his report.

Player Data

Name, Jersey #Payton Thorne, #10, #1
School (Code)Auburn (ALAU)
DOB, Class Yr06/26/2001, Senior
Height, Weight6011, 210
40 Yd Dash4.73 est.
Position/DepthQB
Honors/CaptainshipBig Ten Honorable Mention, Academic All Big Ten, Team Captain at Michigan State, Current Team Captain at Auburn
Season Viewed (yr)2022
Games WatchedWisconsin @ Michigan State 10/15/2022Michigan State @ Illinois 11/05/2022Indiana @ Michigan State 11/19/2022
Scout Name / DateBrinson Bagley, 08-30-2023

Per Year Stats (Most Recent First)

2022G 12      Att. 387       Com. 242      Pct. 62.5     Yds. 2679      Int. 11   TD 19    Rate 131.2
2021G 13      Att. 389       Com. 235      Pct. 60.4     Yds. 3240      Int. 10   TD 27    Rate 148.1
2020G   4      Att.   85        Com.  48       Pct. 56.5     Yds.  582       Int.   3    TD  3     Rate 118.6

Player Summary:

Senior. Recently transferred from Michigan State where he was used to commanding an offense that has a heavy dose of run and RPO infused. He is undersized for his position and has a long neck and a slim frame. He is knowledgeable about the protections he sets and anticipates where incoming pressure arrives. He is a right-armed QB with good balance and calmness, keeping his eyes downfield when pressured while making consistent back-shoulder intermediate throws on target, even when on the move. He is a solid scrambler with capable foot speed that combines good arm strength and a quick release that often allows him to make uncomfortable throws under pressure. Yet, still striking receivers in intermediate routes and leading his receivers on deep routes when he does set his feet, he is accurate and shows good body control. He excels at throwing jump balls to a preferred position and quick passes, throwing the ball on target to allow his receivers to adjust after the catch for YAC.

While he has a strong arm, he does depend on its power too much in many of his attempts, as he will consistently make dangerous off-balance or highly contested throws that lead to turnovers or receivers taking big hits. He also is prone to high throws, as on occasion, the receiver will have to jump to make the catch, or is overthrown altogether. On sideline routes, it is hard for receivers to get more than one foot in bounds on comebacks or make smooth catches without establishing good separation. Some of his throws seem nonchalant and as though the field was not scanned before being thrown into a well-covered area. He also struggles with late-game plays, or red zone plays, as many of his issues tend to show in goal-line passes or big plays late in the game.

Scheme Fit

A running back centric scheme that will allow him to attack via option routes and attack the defense in single coverage

Power Statement

While there are risks and noticeable flaws, the upside of his abilities and intelligence outweighs many of these risks that can be coached out.

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