As the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2017 campaign for an NFC East division championship continues, a rising star in the making leads the way.
That would be none other than second year Quarterback Carson Wentz, whom the Eagles traded the farm for back in 2016 to make the North Dakota State product the second overall selection in the draft.
Wentz’s rookie season was rocky, to say the least. As a rookie, Wentz struggled greatly to throw the ball down the field and was prone to a lot of high risk decisions. But with a greater infrastructure around him this year and more continuity, Wentz has looked like a much more polished and controlled passer. The jump from the FCS level to playing as a rookie starter in the NFL was never going to be easy, but Wentz showed the traits needed to be successful in college.
Wentz has surprised me with his ability to push the ball down the field and his arm is better than I’d given him credit for in terms of his ability to generate power on the throw. It wasn’t an area in which he had consistent success in college, but Wentz has done well to add more consistency this season throwing to Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz down the field.
A piece of the puzzle that should not be overlooked for Wentz’s development? Coach Doug Pederson is a member of the Andy Reid coaching tree, his style of offense and play-calling mesh very, very well with what I perceived to be Wentz’s strengths were as a Draft prospect.
“Strong placement of throws in short/intermediate areas with consistency.”
“Rarely makes poor decisions with the football…has developed stronger sense of timing as a passer during senior season.”
Of course, I also didn’t anticipate Wentz being quite this good, this quickly.
“Wentz would be best served in a West Coast offense on a team granting multiple seasons to develop but there is starter potential present.”
As it turns out, Wentz’s NFL transition required a learning year on the job. But the lack of high end personnel in Wentz’s rookie season actually forced him to master the timing and progression portions of his game; something he’s made strides with in his second year as a college passer.
Be excited, Eagles fans. Your team is competitive, playing well and has a bright future ahead of them. And although I rated my expectations for Wentz as a “Very Good Starter” and scored him as my 14th overall player on my 2016, I can’t honestly say I expected this to come to fruition quite as quickly as it has.