Eagles Take Carson Wentz No. 2 Overall
In a first round with many surprises, the Eagles to the surprise of no one selected North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
They used it to select a player Doug Pederson says the team liked cause he is a winner.
"He's coming from a winning tradition, winning program at North Dakota State," Pederson said after Wentz was selected No. 2 overall.
"He's a winner himself. You've got to love the intangibles about him, and just when you get a chance to meet him in the building one-on-one, his demeanor, his aggressiveness, his willingness to learn – sharp kid, really was a very attractive pick for us and a very good fit for us."
Wentz is a good fit for a Eagles team looking for a stabalizing face at the quarterback position, something they haven't had since Donovan McNabb was traded to Washington, Easter Sunday in 2009. And they believe Wentz was the best option in this draft.
"[Wentz] was our top player on our board," Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman admitted.
Wentz made just 23 FCS starts, missing eight games as a senior due to a fractured wrist. He compiled a 20-3 record, 64.1 completion percentage, and 45 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions at North Dakota State.
"You know what, I didn't concern myself about the competition as much," Pederson explained. "This kid is determined, he's eager, he studies his craft and he hones his craft. He's an exciting guy. He's a perfect fit for what we're going to do, and his demeanor fits everything about the Philadelphia Eagles."
The thing that really makes Wentz an interesting pick for the Eagles is, they don't intend to play him right away, unlike most top quarterback picks in recent years. Almost every quarterback taken No. 1 or No. 2 overall has started for their teams right away in year one - the Eagles are hoping they don't have to play Wentz this season.
"Yeah, there's really no need," Pederson said about playing Wentz this season. "You've got Sam Bradford and you've got [QB] Chase Daniel, so you've got two veteran guys that can help teach, especially with Chase. That's the reason why I brought [Chase} here was the fact that he understands and knows the offense that I'm implementing. So he's really going to be the go-between in helping Sam and Carson now in their roles. It's going to be a great dynamic and it's going to be fun to watch."
At 6-5, 237, Wentz is a big quarterback, who is a good athlete with a very good arm and accuracy. With that kind of size and skill, coach Pederson talked about which quarterback Wentz reminded him of.
"You know, a little bit of Brett Favre, honestly," Pederson said. "He's got that mentality. He's got that aggressiveness that Brett had, and those are some of the skill sets that I see in Carson, that aggression, that ability to throw the ball down the field. And listen, I love quarterbacks that are willing to take a chance, take a calculated risk down the field. Favre was that way, and I see a lot of the same characteristics in Carson."
Those type of lofty comparisons didn't seem to both Wentz.
"It's pretty unbelievable," Wentz admitted about being compared to the hall of game quarterback. "Growing up, Favre has always been my favorite guy to watch, just his mentality, the way he played the game, the way he approached the game, he had fun with it, his grittiness, hard-working attitude. I just loved everything about watching him play and being compared -- obviously I've got a long way to go, but it's pretty cool hearing that."
Now if Wentz ends up with the type of career Favre had, the move to trade up five picks to get him will all be worth it in the end - seems he has already gotten off on the right foot when taking about his new fan base and city.
"Passionate," Wentz said when asked what he knew about Philadelphia. "Passionate, and they want to win. That's who I am, as well, and I know that it's a very historical place, and I'm excited to go there and experience it first-hand."
Welcome to Philly Carson.