The Eagles pulled a Kardashian and broke the internet today when they traded up to the second pick in this year's NFL draft. Obviously this is a year after Chip Kelly tried to mortgage the future to trade up to two for Marcus Mariota, a trade that never went through, and this is all a bit disappointing. Why is it disappointing? Well, the supposed top two quarterbacks in this class for the Eagles are Jared Goff out of Cal and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, neither of which are even top three quarterbacks for me. Alas, the NFL does what the NFL does and if the Eagles are to pick one of these quarterbacks, depending on who the Rams take at one, which would they be better off with?
Jared Goff has a productive career at Cal in their air raid style offense. His smarts and quick decision making allowed the offense to run smoothly and efficiently for much of his career. What stands out to Goff is that he is a very accurate passer, who throws with excellent anticipation in the intermediate game and down the field. He is smart quarterback with excellent footwork and he does a good job going through his reads.
What is so worrying about Goff is his arm strength and composure as a quarterback. His arm is not Kellen Moore bad, but he lacks top level velocity and it is evident when he is throwing outside the hashes and into tight windows. He is mostly aware of his physical limitations, so he is more often than not, a very conservative quarterback. Conservative quarterback play may prevent turnovers, but a quarterback who won't take chances is one who won't win many games either. And he didn't. Goff has less than 15 career wins at Cal despite starting three full seasons. That is a red flag. On top of that, Goff needs everything to go well in order for him to function. He is excellent when he is comfortable and in a rhythm, but one errant throw or a couple of shots in the pocket and he starts to look skittish. He lacks the consistent poise to be a top level passer.
Where Jared Goff is physically lacking, Carson Wentz has the traits of a Madden create a player. He is big, well built and athletic with an incredibly strong arm. Also unlike Goff, Wentz is not afraid of tight windows and allowing his receivers to make plays on the ball. He is an aggressive passer who is willing to take shots when his team asks him to. The Bison benefit from his aggressive mindset two, winning two championships during Wetnz's time as a starter.
Unfortunately, that is where the positives end. Despite Wentz's potential, he is still incredibly mentally raw. He comes from a very simplistic offense where he is rarely asked to read the middle of the field and he rarely makes it past his first read regardless. With that, he isn't a cerebral passer who is good at anticipating throws, rather he is a see and throw passer who rarely throws players open. Despite his incredibly strong arm, his deep ball is not even top five in the class. His accuracy is a mess beyond 20 yards and his inability to lead receivers leads to gross incompletions, turnovers or situations where he kills yards after catch potential. In the pocket, he is not Ben Roethlisberger. He is numb at best in the pocket and skittish at worst. His total lack of feel for pressure is horrendous and his inability to move within the pocket will lead to multiple sacks he creates for himself. Wentz is a massive project of a player.
So who fits better? Well, it is quite simply Goff. Goff has the mental faculties to start sooner than later and his style of quarterbacking is ideal for a west coast offense. His ability to anticipate throws and get the ball out quickly, while avoiding turnovers, would be perfect to methodically move a team down the field how Pederson would like. While Goff does not have the tape to prove he can face adversity on the field, he is the Eagles best bet. Regardless, neither quarterback is worthy of a first round pick and certainly not worthy of the haul the Eagles moved for whoever.
Eagles fans, pray I'm wrong.