After the Eagles sent a boatload of picks to the Browns to move up to second overall, it has been no secret that they covet the two quarterbacks. Ever since the trade, almost every media outlet and “source” has the Rams picking California quarterback Jared Goff first. That means the Eagles will select North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz next. So who is this Division 1 Subdivision superstar?
North Dakota State University
- Strong arm, possesses ability to effortlessly throw downfield from any plant
- The prototypical size of the NFL quarterback
- Athleticism that is unique to his big body, allows him to easily maneuver out of the pocket and scramble
- Fiery football player, highly competitive (finished a game with a broken wrist)
- Consistently accurate in the pocket, will be able to hit NFL windows
- Smart (4.0 GPA), played in an NFL system that forces quarterback to take active role
- Considerably quick release
- Intangibles are off the charts, impressive leader and winner
- Pretty solid decision maker, will not make many dumb throws
- Despite top notch athleticism, he can have trouble throwing outside of the pocket
- Trouble reading and executing against blitzes
- Played in a lower level college league, even harder to adapt to NFL
- Footwork needs some work, but that is with almost every young quarterback
- Durability is a concern
Is He Better Than Jared Goff?
Goff will be selected first on Thursday by the Los Angeles Rams. That part is well known and it will be astronomically shocking if he wasn’t. He is a California kid with a lot of talent, and he is the perfect future face of the Rams. Goff possesses a strong arm, ideal size, and when he is in the pocket, his footwork is outstanding, which is very impressive for a college quarterback.
Unfortunately he comes from a spread offense at Cal and he might not be able to play well day one. Furthermore, his accuracy can be pretty average at times, and he is definitely not a cerebral decision maker. So with all that said, is he better than Wentz?
After studying both quarterbacks for quite a while, Wentz is the more intriguing prospect. The only major knock on Wentz is that he does not have a wealth of experience and he played for a low level college team like North Dakota State. To counter that point though, Wentz played in an intricate NFL system where he made all the calls on the line, meaning that his transition to the next level might not be that difficult. Other than that, Wentz’s weaknesses are easily fixable.
On the other hand, not only does Goff have a similarly tough transition because of the simplicity of his college offense, he also lacks consistent accuracy and decision making. Those two attributes to very tough to improve upon, and former top prospects like Mark Sanchez and EJ Manuel continue to struggle with those issues today. Goff is a better quarterback prospect than those two were but still his weaknesses are definitely troubling. I do believe Goff will be a very good quarterback in the NFL. He is durable, plus he possesses the necessary toughness and demeanor to handle the job and he still has room to grow. But after the research, Wentz just looks like he will be the better quarterback when it is all said and done.
Ceiling: A Mix of Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton
Wentz will probably never have the unbelievable passing ability that Big Ben possesses nor the elite athleticism that Newton can play with, but he eventually could fall somewhere in the middle. In terms of similarities with Roethlisberger, Wentz has the big body and arm strength combined with the competitive, win-at-all-costs type attitude that Big Ben has played with for years. Like Newton, Wentz can fit throws into tight windows and the athleticism to easily escape from pressure. If he could somehow even come close to this ceiling, the Eagles would be absolutely thrilled.
Floor: A Mix of Logan Thomas and Mike Glennon
Not a horrible floor for Wentz but definitely not worth the second overall pick. This would really only happen if he was overexposed to the NFL too early and if he fails to progress. Thomas, Glennon, and Wentz are all similarly built, but Thomas and Glennon couldn’t be more different. Glennon is the classic tall, strong armed pocket quarterback while Thomas is the new age athletic mobile quarterback. Both of them are probably career backups. When combining both Thomas and Glennon, you have the worst possible scenario for Wentz. Wentz should always have the athleticism that Thomas possesses and the arm that Glennon has, but that is not good enough to be a franchise quarterback. The likelihood of this scenario is very low, but because of that jump from the NCAA Subdivision to the NFL, it is in the realm of possibility.
Wentz is going to be the Eagles pick, it is just a question of whether or not he pans out as their franchise quarterback. The North Dakota State product will probably end up on the end closer to his ceiling, but his lack of high level experience scares me a bit. In the end, if he adapts correctly to the NFL, Wentz has all the makeup to be an elite NFL quarterback and who knows, a kid from Fargo, North Dakota, might be the guy to finally bring the elusive Lombardi trophy to Broad Street.