Carson Wentz, a Bismarck native and a North Dakota State University graduate was picked second overall to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL draft. If you’re from North Dakota, then you need no introduction to Wentz. For those less familiar, he led NDSU to two out of the five consecutive FCS championships than NDSU currently holds. In his senior year he started in seven games and has a completion rate of 62.5% for 1,651 yards. He also has 17 touchdowns with only four interceptions, along with six touchdowns for himself. Wentz was named to the College Sports Information Directors Association All-American squad for two consecutive years.
From an analytical standpoint, Wentz’s greatest strength comes from how he deals under pressure in the pocket. He is smart, and he knows when to run the ball and when to throw it. When he throws, it is high and accurate. His weakness comes from having issues with his footwork in the pocket and from locking on to the receiver that he is intending to pass to, which gives more time for defense to get to that intended player.
Coming from an FCS school, it is surprising to many that he was picked so highly. During the first weeks of practice, it is starting to become evident that Wentz has a lot of growing to do before he will be ready to make his debut onto the NHL field. Head Coach Doug Pederson noticed that he has a wobble to the ball at times, but NDSU has seen this from him before, and a little wobble has never stopped Wentz in the past. Carson told reports this week that timing and accuracy are more important than how pretty the ball looks at the end of the day, as all rookies need to have time to get used to playing on a different level of playing. I am not saying that Wentz could not start this year and perform well if it was needed, but I do think that he needs some more time to mature.