By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles now have the player that will be their quarterback of the future. With the 2nd overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Eagles selected QB Carson Wentz from North Dakota State.
The last time the Eagles selected that high in the draft, the team took Donovan McNabb and now they are hoping that Wentz will have similar longevity so they can begin the process of building a team around a franchise QB.
In his senior season at ND State, Wentz started seven games and passed for 1,651 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns. He also added six scores with his legs. He also led his team to their 5th straight FCS Championship.
To go along with the stats and the success, Wentz has the prototypical size desired for the position. He stands at 6’5″, 237 pounds.
Wentz has the mix of accuracy, touch, strength and pocket presence that any successful QB needs. He mixes those traits with athleticism that allows him to escape front seven defenders and pick up yards with his legs or find open receivers down the field.
He also doesn’t lack for confidence.
Wentz wasn’t a name on a lot of people’s minds, but strong pre-draft performances and interviews skyrocketed him up the draft board. The major question mark stems from Wentz’s ability to transition seamlessly from FCS competition to the NFL.
It doesn’t appear that the Eagles plan to start Wentz right away. McNabb, to draw a comparison, was taken and sat for the first nine games of his career. Will Wentz wait even longer?
Coincidentally, the coach that drafted Wentz, Doug Pederson, was the QB that played in front of McNabb at the beginning of his career. Pederson will understand the value of having Wentz watch for a little while, especially considering the weight on his shoulders to succeed in Philadelphia. It’s a very heavy weight.
The Eagles did not naturally have the 2nd pick. They traded five picks away to get it. Those five picks are five potential NFL players that fans and pundits can bring up if Wentz struggles.
Howie Roseman, Pederson, Jeffrey Lurie…they are going out on a limb with this pick. They say you can’t win in the NFL without a franchise quarterback.
In a few seasons, the Eagles will be finding out if they have one.