The Eagles’ presumptive No. 2 overall pick is Carson Wentz. And if all you know about the North Dakota State quarterback is that his possible presence has made Sam Bradford quiver, keep reading.
Here’s a look at 10 things you need to know about Wentz before he (likely) arrives in Philadelphia.
1. He’s a big boy
Wentz has the size you want in an NFL franchise quarterback, with big hands, a 6-foot-5 frame and muscular 237 pound build. With defensive linemen getting bigger and bigger, the Eagles will take any advantage they can get at the line of scrimmage.
2. He’s been compared to Andrew Luck
NFL.com’s Mike Mayock had some pretty complimentary things to say about Wentz during the NFL combine a few months ago.
“When I look at him, I see a kid that’s as athletic or more athletic than Andrew Luck,” the analyst said.”He’s bigger than Andrew Luck. He’s got arm strength comparable to Andrew Luck.He just doesn’t have the experience that Andrew Luck had at a high level coming out of college. So I see a ceiling for this kid similar to Andrew Luck. That’s why I believe in this kid so much, but it’s going to take a little bit of time.”
3. He’s a North Dakota kid
The toughness and pride you want from your hometown quarterback — yeah, Wentz has it. Just read an excerpt from his entry on ThePlayersTribune.com:
“You don’t get through winters with an average temperature of 12.8 degrees without being a certain kind of tough - the cracked-skin-dried-blood kind of tough.
That toughness comes in handy in a place like North Dakota. You see, up there, jamming your numb fingers against someone’s ice-cold helmet happens every practice. Getting decked on the cement-like dirt is just how a play ends.And here’s the thing: I love it.
Because in North Dakota, we don’t care for flash or dazzle. That’s not our game. We don’t do things the fanciest way. We do them the right way.”
4. He is a good fit for Doug Pederson’s offense
The Eagles will revert to an Andy Reid style West Coast offense next season under new head coach Pederson and Wentz appears to be tailor made for the style.
“The style of offense we play in — we’re a huddle, West Coast offense,” Wentz’ college coachChrisKlieman told the New York TImes. “We’re going to go under center, let the quarterback change protections, audible to run. . . . All those things are a little lost in college football because a lot of guys go no-huddle and look to the sideline to see what the coordinator’s going to run.”
5. He hasn’t played a lot
Wentz had a few injury issues at North Dakota State and only threw 612 total passes in four seasons. In comparison, Sam Bradford threw 532 in 14 games for the Eagles last season. He missed two months of his senior year due to a bad wrist but was at full strength for the senior bowl.
6. He’s still put up good numbers
Even with a small sample size, Wentz’ numbers do impress. He threw for 5,115 yards at a 64.1 percentage completion clip while scoring 45 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions.
7. And he can run
An argument can be made that Wentz is the best running quarterback in the draft. In his final two seasons at NDSU he ran for 936yards and 12 touchdowns.
8. He sometimes tries to do too much
In his last two seasons in college Wentz fumbled 10 times. According to scouts and to CBS Sports, Wentz often times tried to hard to extend plays and does not know when to give up, slide, or throw the ball away. Learning these skills are imperative for success in the NFL.
9. He’s okay with sitting out
“As a competitor, you want to get on the field as soon as you can,” Wentz said told reporters in Chicago this week. “But you want to do best for your team, your career and everything. That’s not up me to decide. I’m just going there to compete, do the best I can, earn the respect of my teammates and everything. The coaches will decide when I’m ready.”
10. He’s a risk
There are plenty of positives but the negative, of course, is that the Eagles gave up a lot to get Wentz. And if he feels the pressure (and in Philly there will be plenty of it) and winds up being a bust it could set back the Birds for years to come.