Carson Wentz becomes such a hot commodity that any team picking among the first dozen in the 2016 NFL Draft finds him such a must-have whether it needs a quarterback or not that it pulls the trigger and selects him in the opening round.
Sorry, pie-in-the-sky proponents who have yet to see Wentz take a single snap outside of this past Saturday’s Senior Bowl, but the Eagles don’t need the hassle. The commotion and confusion that already follows arguably the most intriguing prospect out there seems a bit more than they would be able to handle in the foreseeable future.
Not for nothing, but the organization doesn’t exactly give off the ultra-organized, super-confident, “runs like a Swiss watch” operation vibe that says it would be in control of any situation.
Right now, as the Eagles are currently constructed in the front office, no one is admittedly in charge of player personnel and, beyond that, the incumbent at the position Wentz would be chosen to play is about as enigmatic a figure as there is in Philly, where even his biggest supporters rely on the most overused, blinders-wearing, afraid-to-move-on excuse there is – “well, what other options are better?” – as the primary reason to keep him in town.
Consider it the sliding scale for mediocrity along the uncertainty plane, where consistently inconsistent battles it out with imminently average for bragging rights.
Do you really want another season of a question mark at the helm of your offense?
Put it this way, at least with Mark Sanchez the general consensus is he may suck … but he won’t torch the team’s entire payroll. With Sam Bradford, the aforementioned incumbent, he may or may not suck, and opinions will still vary on him regardless of whether he does or not. The only given seems to be his price tag will exceed his actual value by exponential levels.
Taking Wentz with the 13th pick would only muddle the deal even further.
With apologies to the “genius” identified as a well-respected, high-ranking player-personnel man for an NFL franchise NOT in need of a quarterback who stated that the Browns would be dopes if they didn’t take Wentz with the second pick and have him be the face of the franchise for the next 15 years … uh, you, sir, are an idiot.
Appreciation for some hyperbole aside, that’s a comment that jumps the shark from ridiculous to insane. Frankly, it’s irresponsible. Even if that theoretical proposition ultimately pans out, you can’t make that statement as if it’s fact at this point right now.
There is far too little “intel” on this kid to comment in that way. Currently, those who timidly raise the red flag to the Wentz love do so with about as much insight as those promoting it with the exuberance of teenage girls screaming at a One Direction concert when the band was at the height of its pop-culture power.
They’ll say, well, dominating at a lower level (than FBS) in college kinda makes it hard to judge what he’ll be able to do against tougher competition.
True … if he actually dominated against that lesser competition. Newsflash: He didn’t.
He played well. He put up good numbers. But we’re not talking Cam Newton-type stats, or, take a deep breath, Johnny Manziel-type stats by any stretch. Nor did he put up numbers such as Paxton Lynch or Jared Goff numbers, and both of those fellow projected first-round QBs played at that higher level, just like Newton and Manziel.
Wentz is big (6-6, 235), shows some athleticism and throws a nice ball, but he doesn’t have jump-off-the-screen talent. He just doesn’t. Plus, he’s raw.
Thing is, the incredible success of North Dakota State’s football program, even at “just” the FCS level, affects all of this, as much if not more than its former QB’s size (well above average) and skill level (average) does. NFL “experts,” always on the lookout to find that untapped resource have turned to the most obvious one. With that, the Carson Wentz craze has commenced.
If the football gods are smiling down on the Eagles at all, they’ll make sure it doesn’t take up residence in Philly by April.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
If anything, the Eagles may be wise to hold off on drafting a QB this spring. The crop coming out doesn’t offer any prospects in the can’t-miss category. But, if they feel the position is a “must pick for the future now,” then others seem better options than Carson Wentz of FCS champ North Dakota State.
Paxton Lynch … Better athlete from a higher-level program, the 6-foot-7 junior-eligible standout for Memphis carried the Tigers into the FBS national rankings this past fall and a combined 19 wins over the course of the past two. He’s smooth with the ball in his hands, can run very well and throws the most catchable pass of anyone in the draft.
Jared Goff … A prototypical NFL QB with the arm talent to make every throw required at the next level, the 6-4 junior-eligible Cal product earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors. He can run a little, but rarely opts to do so. If Eagles coach Doug Pederson is looking for a more stay-in-the-pocket QB, Goff would make more sense than either Lynch or Wentz.
Jeff Driskell … If you’re not picking Lynch or Goff in the first round, taking a flyer on this guy in one of the latter rounds wouldn’t be a bad move at all. After flaming out under Will Muschamp at Florida, he resurfaced at Louisiana Tech this fall and re-emerged as an NFL prospect. Like Wentz, he’s raw, but he possesses all the physical tools and size to excel at the next level … in any offense.
Not that it means much in the grand scheme of things, but Driskell had the best performance of all QBs in Saturday’s Senior Bowl, completing 8 of 9 passes for 108 yards and a score while adding another 15 yards on 3 carries.
WHAT ABOUT DAK GUY?
With the likes of Lynch and Goff not eligible to play in the Senior Bowl, a senior QB such as Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott was given a better chance to show his multi-faceted wares … and did just that in earning Most Outstanding Player of the game by guiding the South to the victory. Oddly enough, had Chip Kelly remained as Eagles head coach, this guy would seem ideal to run his mostly read-option attack here. If Pederson was thinking of incorporating some of Kelly’s ideas to his own offense, maybe Prescott wouldn’t be a bad selection at some point.
Pretty amazing that three Temple University players took part in the Senior Bowl and nary a word about their efforts has been mentioned or written by the pat-on-its-own-back Philly media. Even better, the reigning winner of the national defensive player of the year award, named after an Eagles great (and University of Penn star Chuck Bednarik) for heaven’s sake, was one of them, led the North team in tackles with 8, which completed his senior season-long Tour de Force of topping his squad in tackles for each of the 15 freakin’ games he played, and … nothing. Tyler Matakevich, they hardly know ye. Even now. Hard to believe.