a blog by La Kifo
Carson Wentz went to North Dakota State, which plays in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, most likely the worst conference in division 1 football. Just to highlight how bad the MVFC is, North Dakota State since 2011 has lost 5 games and won their conference championship each year. A lot of people want to point at his athleticism, short accuracy, and fit into a pro style offense while they ignore the clearly inferior competition Wentz faced week in week out.
Let us start with his strengths. A big asset going into the draft is his running ability. Not even his speed, because his speed is subpar. More so his agility and vision. He sets up defenders for cuts and jukes. Rarely have I seen him pick the wrong hole. Like I said his speed is not great, but it does prove my point. He does not out run linebackers and defensive backs of his conference but he does make them miss a lot. His agility and vision will translate into the NFL. Along with his agility, his throw on the run is a great weapon for him.
15 yards and In, Wentz can skim the wings off a fly without killing it. Just another way to say, he is very accurate in that range. He also has very good velocity on those throws, the kind of velocity you expect from a starting NFL QB. He has the ability to deliver a catch-able pass to a covered receiver in this range.
His last strength is his ability to read the defense. Now I don't really know the extent of his ability when it comes to reading coverage. What I did see is a willingness to cycle through his reads and deliver to the best option. Something I rarely saw in Jared Goff. This is one of the more important intangibles for a QB to have coming out of college. If they already taught to read the receivers the transition into reading the entire defense will come a lot easier.
Now onto what this kid does badly. First his pocket presence is not where it should be. With pressure in his face, his instinct is to step backward away from the line of scrimmage. For anyone who watched Tim Tebow play, striding backwards against pressure is the worst thing you can do. Wentz does not have the escapability that Jared Goff has.
Wentz missed a lot of deep throws. When he was required to put touch on the ball, he lost accuracy. He has arm strength just not great touch. When he gets past 20 yards things start to dip. A good amount of throws at that range, he really wanted to force and would hurl balls down the field. I dont think I saw him complete a pass that way. It was a lot of tipped balls by the defenders, and in the NFL those wont be tipped they will intercepted.
Is Wentz worth a top 3 pick? No. The kid is way over hyped. He has a lot of things he needs to work on before he can be successful in a starting role. Wentz is still a good quarterback, and he has the potential to be a great starter. Just not right now. Putting him in a starting job day one will inevitably lead to a huge dismantling of his confidence and skills. I want to say Cleveland is the perfect fit, oxymoron. In Cleveland he has RG3s 2 year contract to play under. Which gives him time to develop the weak parts of his game and learn how to be an NFL QB. The problem is he would have to do all of this in Cleveland. The Browns always find a way to fuck things up. In my mind the best fit would be Dallas, there he has a somewhat competent coaching staff, along with a solid veteran QB in Tony Romo to possibly mentor him. A problem with Dallas would be that when Romo gets hurt, Wentz will have to be thrown into the spotlight. Unless Dallas gets a solid number 2 and is willingly to keep 3 QBs then Dallas would be the best fit.
Selection Prediction: 2nd overall Cleveland Browns
Career Prediction: unknown to borderline pro bowl starter
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