3 Reasons Why Carson Wentz Expectations Should’ve Been High
After NFL Week Two the Eagles are 2-0 and Carson Wentz is the first NFL Rookie Quarterback to not have a turnover in his first two games in the league since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. But think back to April when the Eagles traded with the Browns for the 2nd overall pick and then drafted the redheaded Quarterback from North Dakota State, did anyone anticipate this success? Of course not, everyone had a reason why the trade or draft pick didn't make sense to them:
-Why would Eagles move up in the draft for a Quarteback? They already have Sam Bradford
-Who is Carson Wentz?
-He didn't play Quarterback at a big time College Football program
There were many other doubters when the pick was made yet after two games in the 2016 NFL season people are jumping on "The Wentz Wagon" and declaring Philadelphia "Carson City, Wenzylvania". But should we have seen this success ahead of time? Let me explain:
1. FCS Quarterbacks have played well in the NFL
One of the criticisms of Carson Wentz before the season was that he was coming from North Dakota State, a College Football program at the Football Championship Series level (formerly known as Division 1-AA), which is below the level of the major College Football programs (as seen on TV weekly) in the Football Bowl Series of Division 1. The theory propagated by many was that the jump in competition would be a lot to overcome for Wentz.
But in NFL history there have been other FCS Quarterbacks drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft:
-2008: Joe Flacco (University of Delaware, 18th overall)
-1995: Steve McNair (Alcorn State, 3rd overall)
-1979: Phil Simms (Morehead State, 7th overall)
-1978: Doug Williams (Grambling State, 17th overall)
Like Wentz, all of these Quarterbacks came from Pro-style offenses in college where the load of the offense was put on their shoulders. Also all of these quarterbacks were considered "smart" and "mature" for their age, all adjectives used to describe Wentz before the NFL Draft. On top of all of this, all four QBs were lauded for their leadership qualities and Wentz has shown this skill set also.
Of course the dubious commonality all four previous FCS 1st round draft picks have in common is they led their teams to play in the Super Bowl: Only McNair lost in the big game while Williams, Simms, and Flacco were clutch on the NFL's biggest stage.
2. Physical Traits Check Out
The Eagles officially list Carson Wentz height at 6'5" and weight of 237 pounds at the age 23 years old. Physically he is large for the Quarterback position in the NFL. Here are other similar sized Quarterbacks in the NFL:
-Ben Roethlisberger: 6'5" at 240 pounds
-Joe Flacco: 6'6" at 245 pounds
-Cam Newton: 6'5" at 245 pounds
-Andrew Luck: 6'4" at 240 pounds
-Carson Palmer: 6'5" at 235 pounds
So physically Wentz is comparable with five Quarterbacks who are arguably among the top 14 in the NFL at their position. Similar to Wentz, all five have strong throwing arms, are athletic for their size, and are good at Play Action Fakes. All five have been Pro Bowl selections and three of them have led their teams to Super Bowl appearances.
3. He Looked Like An NFL Prospect In College
Wentz became the full time starting Quarterback at North Dakota State in 2014 after "Relief Snaps" the season before. He threw for 3,111 Passing Yards with 25 Touchdowns and 10 Interceptions which got him on some people's radar. One NFL scout said the following:
“First time I saw Carson was his junior year and my first thought was why the heck is he here? Why isn’t he at Ohio State or Alabama? But credit the Bison coaches for seeing something and developing him. I like the arm talent, the size obviously stands out and he’s shown the ability to think on his feet and make the spontaneous decision. You see a lot of traits that says he can start in our league” – AFC North scout
Even though his Senior season was a limited sample size due to injury, he still threw for 1,651 Passing Yards with 17 Touchdowns and 4 Interceptions in seven games. For his college career Wentz had a completion percentage of 64.1%. He also had 6 Rushing Touchdowns both his Junior and Senior seasons. But if statistics and the word of NFL Scouts do not "Move The Meter" for you, maybe watching Wentz in college would:
So maybe we should have seen all of this success coming, maybe it was underestimated how good Wentz could be, but we know for sure the Eagles saw it and that's why they traded up in the 2016 NFL Draft to select him 2nd overall. Maybe "The Sky Is The Limit" is the description we should use for Carson Wentz moving forward.