(Photo via grandforksherald.com)
Every year in the draft, a lot of attention is given to the QB prospects, and rightfully so, as they have become the most important position of any football team. And maybe of any other major sport. With the NFL Scouting Combine next up on the pre-draft agenda, all teams, whether it be the 1st pick or the 32nd, have their eyes pointed towards the QBs. And no QB stands out quite like Carson Wentz from North Dakota State. While many have never heard of him, being that he has played college ball in the FCS division, there is no question about his impressive abilities and talents at the quarterback position.
He has a prototypical build at 6-foot-5 and 232 lbs., and is very familiar with the pro-style offense. In only seven games during his senior year due to an injury that sidelined him for two months, Wentz still put up 1,651 yards and 23 total touchdowns (17 passing, 6 rushing). Not only that, but he was able to lead his North Dakota squad to their 5th consecutive FCS Championship. Plain and simple, he was the finest, most polished NFL prospect that the FCS has seen in years.
Besides his physical tools, Carson Wentz displays superior intelligence and a tremendous work ethic both on and off the field. He has been the outright leader of the Bison since starting at QB in 2014, and his profound knowledge of the game can help him pick up an NFL playbook fairly quickly. He’s a proven winner, and coming from a small program, he is extremely humble. Some, like notable NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock, have even said recently that Wentz has an Andrew Luck-type ceiling. And I agree with him. He can make all the NFL throws and can stand tall in the pocket with the ability to fire with precision. Wentz is also incredibly athletic who has great pocket awareness. In many people’s eyes, including mine, Carson Wentz can do everything that any team hopes their franchise QB can do.
This is huge for an FCS quarterback. Someone who has never been given a spotlight now has the potential to be the face of a franchise for years to come. The Cleveland Browns, who hold the 2nd overall pick and have been in desperate need of a QB since the Tim Couch days, have a chance to lock up their future by taking Wentz. Can it be, Cleveland fans?
Still, of course, there is that chance of it not working out, but if I were any QB-needy NFL team, I would not hesitate when deciding on drafting him. The FCS system has allowed him to hone his skills without the pressures of living up to anybody’s expectations. He has forever been the mystery man in the college football world, but his presence will surely shake up the NFL in due time.
– J. Yellin