LOTS of Eagles fans already love rookie Quarterback Carson Wentz because he gives a good interview, and because he’s not Sam Bradford. Well, actor Patrick Stewart meets those qualifications as well, but you wouldn’t want him as the Eagles starting QB, would you? Of course not, because he lacks the merits to be one.
Before we get started, let me put my cards on the table. I wasn’t a fan of moving up to get him, but this isn’t a case of a guy with an ax to grind. Wentz is here. Even if he’s a bust he’ll be here for at least 4 years. If he’s any good he’ll be here for a decade of so. I’ll be 41 soon, so that means Wentz could be here into my 50’s (should I live that long). I’m not looking to spend a decade booing a man who’s just looking to do his best for our team. However, what you respect about me (even if you can’t stand me) is that I’ll tell it to you straight. So here it is.
Michael Vick‘s speed, Joe Flacco‘s cannon, Carson Palmer‘s ability to see passing lanes before they open, Andrew Luck having every tool in the box…people made big deal of those special talents when these guys were drafted. So what are fans and media saying sets Wentz apart?
Well that’s the thing. We haven’t much discussed the actual merits of Carson Wentz as an athlete, have we? Our Front Office spent a lot of capital to move up to get this guy, but I have yet to hear fans gushing over why he is so special. The reason that fans aren’t doing that, is because he isn’t special. I’m not saying that he can’t become a decent to good pro player. What I am saying is that there is nothing about this guy that makes you say “WOW!”
Even though the “Bottom Line” on his Draft Profile gave him a Round One projection, it also described him as “developmental”. On that same profile, while an AFC Scout did say that he possesses intangibles, that scout did not go as far as to say what a single one of those intangible qualities (for example: leadership, toughness, the ability to inspire or keep teammates levelheaded, etc.) were. When Wentz was asked what sets him apart, he said it’s the mental aspect of his game. At which point he defaulted to giving boilerplate answers that any QB (ranking from arm chair to NFL) could give. (Seriously check the link out). It’s all so deliciously vague.
With so much positive but vague talk surrounding the guy, I decided that the truest evidence would lay in how he plays. I wanted to see recent video of him, so I downloaded and watched a few videos of Wentz 2015 games. (Games, not just highlights, mind you.) I repeatedly went over and dissected five of them (Jacksonville, South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Montana and Weber State).
While those teams hardly represent high quality competition, at no point did I feel like I was looking at a man among boys when I saw Wentz play. I saw nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, special about him. He by no means looked bad out there, but he never looked “WOW!” either.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch THE VIDEOS and look at his ball placement. Look at how often he checks it down, or goes to a first-read pass to the flat. Look at the percentage of overthrows on deep balls from a clean/mostly clean pocket. These things happen to all QB’s, but they happen more often to average QB’s. Oh, and when you watch him run with that gangling style of his, don’t pretend you can’t already see the type of shots he’s going to take at the pro level. Watch the films. I’ll wait….
I’m not saying he’s without any potential. If he’s coached up, he has as much chance as any other athlete to be a decent to good pro. To be clear, what I’m saying is that this guy has no obvious tool in his arsenal that indicates a minimum career .625 win percentage. He lacks an x-factor; but since he’s going to be here for at least the next 4 to 10, 12 years, let’s hope he doesn’t need one.