Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State-FCS – 2016

Eagles, Round 1.

Postseason Events: Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.

Positives: He has a lot of experience in a prostyle offense in college, and has a lot of experience in pressure situations in the FCS playoffs. Solid build overall. Great height and bulk for the position, with above-average hand size. He throws with above-average accuracy on the run and when rolling to the left. Above-average accuracy on crossing routes over the middle. Adequate arm strength and above-average velocity. Nice touch on deep passes. For his size, he is surprisingly athletic and is a strong runner. He moves around well in the pocket under pressure and shows pretty good escapability. Is quick enough to sidestep pressure up the middle. He keeps his eyes downfield on the run and looks to pass before running. When he does run, he runs strong and protects the ball with both hands through traffic. Pretty good balance after contact on the run both low and high – surprising for his height. Pretty nimble on the sidelines – with nice agility for his size. Above-average speed and lateral quickness for his size. Keeps his legs churning through contact for extra yards. Above-average overall lower body explosiveness for the position in Combine drills. Very good ability to change directions with burst in Combine drills. Adequate track speed for the position, but above-average for his size. Had a high score on the Wonderlic test, for whatever that’s worth.

Negatives: Consistently underthrows deep passes. Overthrows on slant pattern in the red zone. He tends to eyeball receivers and shows late recognition of open receivers when he is under pressure. Misses better reads downfield. Will throw it into double coverage in the red zone. Will hold the ball too long in the pocket under pressure when he has a checkdown receiver – especially in the red zone when he seems to look for touchdowns at all cost (which can be good or bad). He throws with a long delivery. Has a surprising number of passes tipped at the line – surprising because of  his height. He will take off from the pocket too early at times when he has little pressure. Though he protects the ball well when he knows contact is coming, he shows consistently below-average ball security when he is moving around – both through the line and in the open field. Below-average vertical leap for the position. Broke bone in right wrist in October 2015 and missed next seven games, but was back for the FCS semifinals.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 1, and possibly the number one overall pick. He is probably the best quarterback in a comparatively weak draft at the position. He is getting a lot of comparisons to both Joe Flacco and Andrew Luck, but I, personally, think those comparisons are too lofty for him. Sure, he has similar athleticism to Andrew Luck, and comes out of the FCS level like Joe Flacco, but I see his level as more of a Jimmy Garoppolo, who also came out of the FCS. Now, I really liked Garoppolo, but he was drafted in the 2nd round because he is a 2nd-Round quarterback – a guy who needs time to develop but who can be a solid starter given time. I think he’ll be a good starter in a couple of years, but he is not at Luck or Flacco’s level. But I’d love to be proven wrong on him, because I love an FCS underdog.

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