Like the instant before watching Joe Theismann getting sacked by Lawrence Taylor back in the day, Louisville guard Kevin Ware crumpling to the floor in the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, or any NASCAR driver in a hard-charging vehicle careening out of control into a wall.
As the mind projects at lightning speed what the eyes are about to see, the heart gets heavy and prepares to plummet from chest to some nether region below … instantly.
The same pre-apocalypse vibe that existed in each of the aforementioned cases looms within me now, only it is lasting longer and hitting home in more intense fashion as the Eagles’ move into a potential abyss goes in painstakingly slow, ship-sinking fashion.
Ah, yes, Thursday night’s expected drafting of Carson Wentz with the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft, the bane of Sam Bradford’s existence. Will that prove to be the franchise’s salvation or its doomsday?
For me, disaster is written all over this. Forget all the recent drama between Sammy Sleeves, agent Tom Condon and wheeling and dealing master in his own mind Howie Roseman of the Eagles, just focus on Wentz.
A veritable no-name a year ago. A fringe NFL prospect eight months ago. A top-5 quarterback five months ago. A first-round given four months ago. A top-3 QB certainty three months ago … and, now, a guarantee to go to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 1 overall Thursday night or to the Eagles right after – should they be so lucky with such a consolation.
Here’s hoping he ain’t the booby prize.
Seriously, let’s get real here …
There is very little to base all of the ballyhoo about Wentz. Aside from his size, solid arm and the “very good athlete for someone so big” statements from player-personnel pods seemingly placed on a never-ending tape loop for all to hear ad nauseam, what is there?
He wasn’t a dominant player in college. Even at a lower level. His numbers pale in comparison to others coming out this year at the same position who played at a higher level, and played longer, period, to boot.
He didn’t carry North Dakota State to back-to-back national championships. He was merely a cog in a well-oiled FCS machine that, in fact, has now won five straight titles.
He didn’t steal the show at the Combine or Senior Bowl. He held his own, showing that his size, solid arm and athleticism were NFL worthy.
But not No. 2 pick in the draft, at the cost of three starting players and three draft picks, worthy.
His meteoric rise is beyond any Hollywood-script realm. Heck, Roy Hobbs wasn’t as fast in becoming a sensation – and Wentz ain’t even technically in the proverbial “bigs” yet.
The Eagles’ investment in him, should he be their choice … well, it’s off the charts for a relative unknown in which preposterous, stretching all bounds of sanity links to justify it are being made.
This is not a repeat of Donovan McNabb going No. 2 to the Birds 17 years ago. The team never had to make a single transaction to move up to acquire him. He also was a known commodity. For years. At a higher level.
This is not Big Ben 2.0, either. For starters, Pittsburgh selected Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th pick back in 2004. For clinchers, he was a high-profile NFL prospect – yep, even with FBS low-level Miami of Ohio – for a full two years before he got drafted.
Joe Flacco? You know what, if Wentz is able to go back in time and carry his FCS squad into a title contest, OR if he grows a couple inches, packs on another 20 pounds and adds “bazooka” strength to his arm, get back to me.
The fear here is that the Wentz craze has gotten completely out of control, with the Eagles, headed by Roseman, totally wrapped up in it – much to their own eventual demise.
May have to close my eyes for this one.
His meteoric rise is beyond any Hollywood-script realm. Heck, Roy Hobbs wasn’t as fast in becoming a sensation – and Wentz ain’t even technically in the proverbial “bigs” yet. The Eagles’ investment in him, should he be their choice … well, it’s off the charts for a relative unknown in which preposterous, stretching all bounds of sanity links to justify it are being made.