Weight: 233 pounds
School: North Dakota State Bison
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.77 seconds (third best among quarterbacks)
Vertical jump: 30.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches (second best among quarterbacks)
Three cone drill: 6.86 seconds (third best among quarterbacks)
Carson Wentz 2016 NFL Draft Profile
Want to hear a mind-boggling stat? Carson Wentz was part of a national championship team at FCS level for all five seasons he was at North Dakota State (he redshirted in 2011). The previous two have been spent as the Bison’s starting quarterback. In 2014, he was one of 17 quarterbacks in Division I’s second tier to throw for over 3,000 yards and added 25 touchdown passes. He also finished second on the team in rushing with 642 yards while finding the end zone six times on the ground. NDSU would finish 15-1 en route to their first title under head coach Chris Klieman. He took over for Craig Bohl who departed for Wyoming after the 2013 season.
A year later, Wentz picked up right where he left off over the first six games of the season. He averaged 242.3 yards passing and threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Unfortunately, he would suffer a broken wrist in a 24-21 loss to South Dakota which ended his regular season. But he made a triumphant return in the title game against Jacksonville State, throwing for 197 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 79 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the 37-10 rout. Wentz would be named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.
- Ideal build for NFL; has size and stature coveted in the league.
- Possesses arm strength that should translate well to next level.
- Immensely poised passer; can make decisive throws under pressure.
- Good pocket awareness; able to elude defenders and avoid negative plays.
- Able to make accurate throws in small windows.
- Can scan the field effectively; doesn’t telegraph throws with his eyes.
- Played a pro-style system in college.
- Exceptional football I.Q.; should be able to immediately grasp NFL playbook.
- Won national titles in both seasons as starter; proven winner.
- Had 13 rushing touchdowns for the Bison; though not known as a dual-threat, capable of tucking it and running when he needs to.
- suffered a major wrist injury senior year; durability could be a concern.
- might need to work on footwork to improve accuracy.
- will be exposed to much higher team speed on defense than he’s used to at FCS level.
- has tendency to get too cute with throws into tight quarters.
- Might need to get more air on his deep throws.
NFL Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger
Teams with Need at Position: Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles
Projection: Top three and possibly first overall.
Much like Cal’s Jared Goff, Wentz gave an immense boost to his draft stock in the finale to his collegiate career. A few weeks later, he had scouts and front office executives buzzing at the Senior Bowl during the practices as well as the game itself. A report from the Buffalo News indicated he’s had extended discussions with the Bills even dating back to the fall. The way it’s going, though, if Buffalo want to pick him in the first round, they’ll have to trade up.
That said, the perception which players of Wentz’s profile receive in the eyes of talent evaluators can seesaw very rapidly in the months leading up to the draft. We’ve seen quarterbacks who get high marks after events such as the Senior Bowl and Combine suddenly end up falling on draft day. Teams in need of a quarterback will certainly be doing their due diligence on Wentz to ascertain if he is indeed their future at the position. Until then, all he can control is continuing to go out there and impressing those teams.