While the Arizona Cardinals fans and coaching staff focuses on the opportunity to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history, there are still a few of us degenerates who have an eye on college football and, more in particular, the 2016 NFL Draft prospects.
Todd McShay started the mock draft season off with his first, and it may have come to quite the surprise for many Cards fans to see the name Carson Wentz as his pick for the Arizona Cardinals
While the potential to land a QB of the future is always intriguing, the relative unknown of commodity of Wentz may have raised a few eyebrows.
I have watched Wentz, never came away first-round impressed, but saw some fun tools that could be worked with. With that in mind, I solicited some of my takes from people I know on what they see when they watch Carson Wentz.
Carson Wentz, Sr North Dakota St
Average arm where ball flutters to sideline. Nice touch between the hashes at all ranges. Plus athlete. Good size. Plays in heavy run based O so sees a lot of man. Appears to have a good football IQ. Feet and eyes are connected. Possible starter upside with time. Has some Dalton to him.
First thing I disagreed with is the arm; I think Wentz has a good arm, maybe even well above average arm. But the rest I do see. He's a good athlete who can move around, but when they talk about his eyes and feet being connected, that makes sense. When you talk about young quarterbacks' feet, it directly correlates to what their eyes are seeing, and in Wentz's case, his eyes are slow to process, which is odd seeing how he gets so much man coverage.
This also correlates to the two other people I spoke with:
Tall and has all the tools you'd ask for, but he has laser stare-down vision and his feet follow and look like they're stuck in the mud.
My response to that, fun, slow feet and slow eyes.
Yet, we keep hearing about the tools -- that they're there. The question is how soon can they be ready and how moldable are they?
Logan Thomas' tools were at least three years out and obviously not moldable enough for the Cardinals to keep him around. Yet the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals disagreed, so who knows on that front? Also, Logan was a fourth round pick, so if he sticks as a career back up at QB, that wasn't a bad pick. But, if that is who Wentz is, well that is a different animal.
He's going to need time to adjust. I'd put him in the early day 3 range as a fringe starter/long-term backup, but someone will probably fall in love with the idea of Wentz (tall athlete from a winning program) and take him earlier. My antennae are up because his predecessor Brock Jenson, and his injury fill-in Easton Stick, have operated the run-heavy Bison offense with similar efficiency. Wentz has put some strong throws on tape, but he's mostly attempting short outs, slants, comebackers. He's pretty sharp off of play action, but otherwise I'm concerned with the number of late throws. His processing seems a tick slow, and he's making a big jump from FCS to the pro level. I think he's got potential though.
Three different people, three similar responses with obviously the last being the most in depth. What Wentz offers is upside, athleticism, an NFL body and a big arm, with a winning pedigree to boot, so as the last person said, someone will likely fall in love with him.
He has a lot of intriguing aspects about him, but as we've seen in the NFL, developing quarterbacks is about time. While the Arizona Cardinals regime has plenty of that, how much does Carson Palmer, even with his MVP season in the works, have? Does he give you three seasons if they draft a Wentz?
This is the first in what will hopefully be a weekly look at draft prospects heading towards the NFL draft.It will be a combination of big draft mock draft picks and guys I am intrigued by.
I will try and get different voices to talk about the prospects every week, but some will definitely make more than one appearance.
If you have a specific prospect you'd like to see run through, let me know in the comments or on Twitter @SCoxFB or @RevengeofBirds.