The Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled to work out North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz on Wednesday, according to a report from ESPN insider Adam Caplan. This workout comes two days after the Eagles met with Jared Goff, who is seemingly in a battle with Wentz to be the top quarterback selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Eagles have been connected to Wentz in draft rumors recently. One NFL executive thinks the Eagles might trade all the way up to the No. 2 pick to get Wentz. Another report has the Eagles potentially trading up to the No. 1 overall pick to get a quarterback such as Wentz or Goff.
While it remains to be seen how much truth there are to those rumors, we do know the Eagles plan to draft a passer at some point this year. Neither Sam Bradford nor Chase Daniel can be considered sure-fire long-term options at the quarterback position. The Eagles are seemingly interested in drafting a guy and having him develop on the bench. It's just a matter of when the Eagles will take a quarterback in this year's draft.
Maybe Wentz is the guy the Eagles are after. Some think the North Dakota State passer is the top prospect from this year's class. The 23-year-old passer completed 64.1% of his passes in college for 5,115 yards (8.4 yards per attempt), 45 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. The mobile Wentz also ran for 1,028 yards and 13 touchdowns. Not only did Wentz produce in college, but he also tested well at the 2016 NFL Combine. He scored a 40 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test, which is very good.
One knock on Wentz is that he's not as NFL ready as Goff. That doesn't matter so much for a team like the Eagles, however, since he would be riding the bench in the short-term.
Here's a scouting report on Wentz via NFL.com.
Strengths - Tall with an athletic, proportional build that is made for the NFL position. Played in a pro-style attack with plenty of snaps under center. Asked to make NFL throws and showed he could do it. Stands tall in the pocket and delivers with a relatively high release point. Keeps ball high and tight in the pocket and can uncork it quickly with tight, sharp release and little wasted motion. Throws catchable ball with tight spiral. Naturally accurate passer. Sees lurking linebackers underneath and throws receivers open to safest spot in the passing window. Able to change arm slots and still throw a strike. Has plus deep ball accuracy and touch. Calm in pocket and has no problems sitting in and taking a hit to complete a pass. Excelled in structured passing attack that required him to read the entire field. Has athleticism to escape pressure and hurt defenses with his legs. Already able to feel pressure on the edges and slide around in pocket without dropping his eyes. Adept in play-action game at selling fakes and quickly finding safeties to help determine where to go with the ball. Intelligent with long list of academic achievements. Should be able to process and handle an NFL playbook quickly. Can play pitch and catch all day long against zone coverage.
Weaknesses - When rolling out, will float it a little too much when taking shots down the field. Allows passing windows to close quickly when he short arms his release. Needs a little more consistency on anticipatory throws outside the hash. Will get caught locking in on target bringing secondary charging in to make a play on the ball. Inconsistent footwork from the pocket. Arm gets ahead of his feet even with time to come to balance. Needs to pick up pace of his post-snap setup. Has to put a little extra air on his field-side throws. Can be a little flat with his downfield, touch throws. Has to eliminate the occasional nonchalant throw into tight quarters. Doesn't look comfortable yet with bootleg rollouts to the left. Broke a bone in his throwing wrist in October sidelining him for eight weeks. Dealt with arm and shoulder injuries as a baseball player in high school. Lower level of competition could cause issues for him adapting to NFL speed.
Bottom Line - With a body type that is as prototypical as they come and a background in reading the entire field and working through progressions, Wentz will immediately check a couple of boxes that many college quarterbacks won't be able to check. While his arm strength is OK, he can still make all the throws and he can make them with accuracy. His ability to escape pressure and pick up first downs with his feet will be yet another check mark in his favor. Wentz is still in a developmental phase after just two years at an FBS program, but has the mental and physical building blocks of a future, franchise quarterback.