Now that the 2016 NFL Draft order changed (again) after yesterday's big trade between the Eagles and Browns, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay released a new 2016 NFL mock draft. This is McShay's Version 5.0 mock. In previous versions he had the Eagles taking various offensive and defensive lineman but now that the Birds are picking at No. 2, well, it's clear they'll be drafting a quarterback. Via ESPN In$ider:
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - The Eagles traded up from No. 8 to No. 2 with the goal of getting whichever quarterback Los Angeles passes on. All signs point to that being Wentz. Big, strong and athletic, he'll face a steep learning curve coming from the FCS, but he has a high ceiling if developed properly. Pairing him with QB guru Doug Pederson would be a great fit.
No surprise here. It's widely expected Jared Goff will be the No. 1 overall pick, which is the case in this mock draft as well. Eagles fans seem to favor Wentz over Goff so this is projection should make some people happy.
Wentz has drawn a lot of praise leading up to this year's draft. NFL draft guru Mike Mayock sees Wentz as a franchise quarterback. Greg Cosell of NFL Films said he thinks Wentz is more talented than Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
There's also been skepticism about Wentz as well, which is only fair. There are questions about the level of competition he played at (Division I FCS) and how that will translate to the NFL. Bleeding Green Nation draft writer Ben Natan is among those not thrilled with Wentz.
Personally, I've liked what I've seen from Wentz. I can't say I know he'll be a good starter but I'm interested to see if the Eagles' approach of developing him slowly will work out.
Here's a scouting report on the potential new Eagles franchise quarterback from NFL.com. And check out that spider graph below:
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 FCS program, but has the mental and physical building blocks of a future, franchise quarterback.