Carson Wentz was drafted No. 2 by the Eagles for a very specific reason.
It was because they had veteran Sam Bradford committed to start in 2016. And Chase Daniel ready to back him up. And the two would mentor Wentz through his first (and possibly second) NFL seasonbefore he steps in ready to go, a la Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
The Eagles relented next year’s first round pick. It’s amove a rebuilding team would be ill-advised to make, but with Bradford in toe and a weak NFC East, the Birds expect to contend under Bradford for a playoff spot in 2016. Otherwise, they have handed the Browns their second low draft pick in 2017 and will take a huge step backward.
This plan doesn’t work unless the Eagles don’t suck this season.
“You’ve got Bradford and you’ve got Daniel, so you’ve got two veteran guys that can help teach, especially with Chase,” Pederson said. “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.”
The Eagles would be unwise to start Wentz due to the simple fact that he was drafted for his potential and his measurables, not solely his performance on the field.
At North Dakota State Wentz started just 23 games in his career. And while his numbers (32 touchdowns to 14 interceptions) were solid, they came against Jacksonville State, Montana, Weber State and others in the FCS football subdivision.
Wentzis going to sit and that will have to be okay with him — and with impatient Eagles fans.
“When you get a chance to meet Carson, you’ll see that he’s going to do everything you ask him to do,” Pederson said. “He’s going to fit perfectly in that room. It’s going to be a dynamic room. It’s going to be a room that — There’s going to be some competition in there, which is great, which I’ve said all along, and just welcome him to the Eagles.”
His competitive spirit won’t be enough to overcome the Eagles’ desire to have him holding a clipboard for the duration of 2016 (barring unforeseen events).
“As a competitor, you want to be out there,” Wentz said,”but I understand that there’s a lot to that, and I’m going to just come in and learn. For one, that’s not for me to decide. I’m just going to come in and learn and compete my tail off, and when Coach [Pederson] feels fit for me to go out there, I’ll go out there, and I’ll hopefully do well.”
The caveat of course, is that the Eagles plans — which in hindsight seem hastily laid out — go according to plan with Bradford showing up and playing like he did during the second half of 2015.
“He’s the leader of this football team,” Pederson said. “He’s the quarterback. I’ve said all along, he’s the quarterback. He’s the guy that we want leading this charge and when he comes back, he’s welcome with open arms.”