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Dynasty Prospect Profile: Carson Wentz

By Kevin English 10:57am EDT 4/6/16

Carson Wentz

Height: 6’5
Weight: 237
Age: 23.3

Combine Results

(Percentile rank among all QBs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of http://www.mockdraftable.com/player/6592/.)

40 Yard Dash: 4.77 (64th)

Vertical Jump: 30½ (35th)

Broad Jump: 118" (87th)

3 Cone Drill: 6.86 (87th)

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.15 (84th)

College Career

Wentz spent 5 years at North Dakota State, including a redshirt season to start his career. Yet he made only 23 starts: 16 as a junior and 7 as a senior last season.

In 2014, he set program records for pass attempts, completions and yards. He also finished as NDSU’s 2nd leading rusher, notching 642 yards and 6 scores.

The Bismarck, N.D., native was poised for a huge senior season. But he suffered a broken bone in his throwing wrist just 6 games in. The injury sidelined him for 8 matchups, although he did return for the FCS Championship game. While he accounted for 3 total scores in that one (2 rushing, 1 passing), Wentz completed just 16 of 29 attempts for 197 yards and 1 pick.

Remember this, though: it isn’t stats that have made him a high-end prospect. Wentz receives high marks for his preparation and understanding of the game. He boasts plus arm strength and accuracy, while he also comes from a pro-style system that lacked a go-to WR.

What he still needs work on -- footwork, most pressingly -- can be improved with time. Of course, he also must adjust to a new level of competition that’ll include faster and stronger athletes.

If he can master those 2 items, Wentz will have a real shot at becoming a longtime NFL starter. When you look at the tape, it’s clear that he has the makeup to thrive on Sundays.

Film study

Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com

Games watched: Jacksonville State, North Dakota, South Dakota State, Weber State, Northern Iowa

Cool Under Pressure

Wentz's 42.6% completion rate when pressured trailed both Cal's Jared Goff and Memphis' Paxton Lynch, per Pro Football Focus. But the North Dakota State product at least shows the potential to make throws under duress. And there's no question he played behind a leaky O-line. Here, he delivers an accurate ball with plenty of zip -- despite facing a free blitzer.

Again, Wentz takes a shot as he releases the ball. Still, he puts it in a spot where only the WR could grab it. Wentz’s keen ball placement should come in handy when he faces quicker, more talented DBs.

Decision-making

Wentz quickly identifies a WR matched up on a trailing linebacker. Despite limited space, he pinpoints the ball in the perfect spot.

Scrambling

Wentz doesn’t run like 2006 Michael Vick, but you can't ignore his athleticism. He has enough juice in his legs to make an impact at the next level.

Consistency

As with all young QBs, consistency is key. That’ll come with more reps for Wentz, who started just 23 games at North Dakota State. The DB made a nice break on the ball on this play, but the pass had no business being thrown. There’s simply not enough separation, and Wentz exacerbates the problem by throwing an out-breaking route behind the WR.

First off, note that the defense rushes only 3 linemen … yet they get to Wentz pretty quickly. Again, his O-line wasn’t exactly dominant. And maybe a clean pocket produces a different outcome here. But Wentz really stares down his target on this play, ultimately firing a ball into heavy traffic.

The good news is that Wentz generally took care of the football last year, posting only 4 picks (across 2 games) on 208 attempts.

Fantasy Value

Greg Cosell, one of our favorite football analysts, compares Wentz to Andrew Luck. Cosell sees similarities in a wide array of areas, including size, rushing ability, composure and NFL smarts.

Sure, it’s a lofty comp. But after watching Wentz’s tape, I don’t think it’s a crazy one. Many QBs have the size and arm strength of a pro passer. What they might lack is work ethic, or a strong understanding of either the playbook or defensive coverages. Everything in Wentz’s background suggests he’ll excel in each area.

Now, Wentz won’t post the kind of numbers Andrew Luck did as a rookie (4,374-23-18, along with 5 rushing scores). Coming from an FCS program, he’ll very likely need a year or 2 of NFL seasoning before making an impact. And it could be longer than that before we see fantasy value -- especially if he lands in barren Cleveland.

Removing situation, though, I see Wentz’s natural ability shining through with time. From late Round 2 onward, he’s a fine pick for QB-needy dynasty owners.

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