Another year, another edition of Mike Sando’s annual NFL quarterback tier rankings based on voting from actual coaches and executives. Always an interesting read, you can check out the entire column on The Athletic if you have a subscription.
Philadelphia Eagles fans might be interested to know that Carson Wentz dropped one spot for the second year in a row. After finishing 10th ahead of the 2019 season, the 27-year-old now checks in at 11th overall. Wentz finished in Tier 2 with 35 votes placing him in that category. He also received five Tier 1 votes and 10 Tier 3 votes. Here’s a sampling of what the so-called experts had to say:
“He was a [Tier 1] at a point, but we played him this past year and I think he lost a little bit physically,” an exec who placed Wentz in the second tier said. “Some of it was, he did not have the same weapons he had early on. But I also thought there were some inconsistencies in his game that I did not see early on. Some of it may be because of the knee injury. It is also interesting out of there you hear guys wanted (Nick) Foles over him. It sounds like there might be something underlying there.”
Saying “Some of it was” really undersells Wentz’s lackluster supporting cast. The dude was dealing with the league’s worst wide receiving corps for nearly the entire season. He sure didn’t look physically diminished or so inconsistent when he had proper support in Week 1.
Also, why are we still talking about Foles (who finished 26th in these rankings, by the way)? He’s long gone. There may have been (read: there was) a locker room divide in 2018 but Wentz erased doubts and proved that the Eagles were HIS team with his excellence down the stretch in 2019.
“You have these veteran receivers there who want their targets, you had (Nelson) Agholor struggling with drops in a contract year and then you have a young quarterback whose personality might not be strong enough to navigate all that,” an exec said. “The quarterback needs to be able to say, ‘Shut the eff up, get in the huddle, this is the play and I’m going to go through my progressions’ instead of worrying about a guy’s targets. If you noticed, when they started playing good, it was when they had these no-names at receiver, almost like Wentz could finally just play the offense.”
This sentiment makes me think back to this report from March: “The belief is the Eagles want a younger [receiver] who will mesh with Carson Wentz rather than a veteran who might have his own style of play.” Sure enough, the Eagles eschewed investing significant resources in a veteran and instead added three receivers through the 2020 NFL Draft.
“I really like the guy and when he plays he can be a one,” a former GM said, “but injuries and the fact that they did not need him to win a Super Bowl against the Patriots, and they won with a guy I think is a four, makes it tough to push him higher. People say he is elite and at times he might be, but not consistent.”
To say the Eagles didn’t need Wentz to win a Super Bowl discredits how well he set the team up for success without him. Wentz putting the Eagles in prime position to get the No. 1 seed in the NFC was, I’d say, kind of important. He’s clearly demonstrated elite ability. Has he reached the same heights since then? No, he hasn’t. But can you really say the front office has done a proper job of helping him get back there? I don’t think you can.
One can only hope Howie Roseman’s 2020 offseason additions help towards better supporting Wentz. Give him at least one legitimate deep threat — something he hasn’t had the past two years — and I think we’ll see him shine.
Overall, 11th isn’t a totally unfair ranking. Wentz reasonably belongs in Tier 2 right now. But some of the provided reasoning here was curious. The tone comes off much more negative than positive ... especially when you contrast it with Dak Prescott’s section even though the Dallas Cowboys quarterback ranks one spot lower.
NFL insiders ranked Carson Wentz as the 11th best quarterback. Too high, too low, just right?
This poll is closed
Here’s a look at the Eagles’ 2020 schedule based on the starting quarterbacks they’ll face (COVID-19 impact notwithstanding).
Week 1 - at Washington Football Team - Dwayne Haskins (?) - 33rd overall (Tier 4).
Week 2 - vs. Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff - 16th overall (Tier 2).
Week 3 - vs. Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Burrow - N/A (unranked rookie).
Week 4 - at San Francisco 49ers - Jimmy Garoppolo - 17th overall (Tier 3).
Week 5 - at Pittsburgh Steelers - Ben Roethlisberger - 8th overall (Tier 2).
Week 6 - vs. Baltimore Ravens - Lamar Jackson - 7th overall (Tier 2).
Week 7 - vs. New York Giants - Daniel Jones - 25th overall (Tier 3).
Week 8 - vs. Dallas Cowboys - Dak Prescott - 12th overall (Tier 2).
Week 9 - BYE
Week 10 - at New York Giants - Daniel Jones - 25th overall (Tier 3).
Week 12 - vs. Seattle Seahawks - Russell Wilson - t-1st overall (Tier 1).
Week 13 - at Green Bay Packers - Aaron Rodgers - 3rd overall (Tier 1).
Week 14 - vs. New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees - 4th overall (Tier 1).
Week 15 - at Arizona Cardinals - Kyler Murray - 14th overall (Tier 2).
Week 16 - at Dallas Cowboys - Dak Prescott - 12th overall (Tier 2).
Week 17 - vs. Washington Football Team - Dwayne Haskins (?) - 33rd overall (Tier 4).
Tier 1 quarterback opponents: 3
Tier 2 quarterback opponents: 6
Tier 3 quarterback opponents: 4
Tier 4 quarterback opponents: 2
Unranked quarterback opponents: 1
Average quarterback opponent ranking: 15.4