Continuing with our spotlight series on the top prospects in this year’s draft class, we take a closer look at North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. A redshirt senior, the 23-year-old signal-caller is coming off a season in which he impressed scouts despite missing more than half of the year with a broken wrist. In seven games, he threw for 1,651 yards with a 62.5 percent completion rate, 17 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Despite the time he missed as a senior and the fact that he attended a school that plays in the Missouri Valley Conference, Wentz is a quarterback many expect to be selected in the top-10 of this year’s draft.
At 6-5, 232 pounds, Wentz has a prototypical build and a combination of arm accuracy and playmaking ability outside the pocket that make him an appealing prospect for teams at the top of the draft that need a quarterback. He also has the advantage of graduating from North Dakota State’s pro-style system, whereas many of his peers hail from less traditional offensive schemes. Over the past two seasons, Wentz rushed for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Despite only starting at North Dakota State for a season and a half, he ranks third in school history for career passing attempts (612), completions (392), yards (5,115), touchdowns (45), completion percentage (64.1%), and passer rating (153.9). His 6,143 yards of total offense ranks fifth in the history of the program.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Tall with an athletic, proportional build that is made for the NFL position. Played in a pro-style attack with plenty of snaps under center. Asked to make NFL throws and showed he could do it. Stands tall in the pocket and delivers with a relatively high release point. Keeps ball high and tight in the pocket and can uncork it quickly with tight, sharp release and little wasted motion. Throws catchable ball with tight spiral. Naturally accurate passer. Sees lurking linebackers underneath and throws receivers open to safest spot in the passing window. Able to change arm slots and still throw a strike. Has plus deep ball accuracy and touch. Calm in pocket and has no problems sitting in and taking a hit to complete a pass. Excelled in structured passing attack that required him to read the entire field. Has athleticism to escape pressure and hurt defenses with his legs. Already able to feel pressure on the edges and slide around in pocket without dropping his eyes. Adept in play-action game at selling fakes and quickly finding safeties to help determine where to go with the ball. Intelligent with long list of academic achievements. Should be able to process and handle an NFL playbook quickly. Can play pitch and catch all day long against zone coverage.
What He Said
"First and foremost you got to win. I think being a winner in the NFL, that will take you place for sure. I think for me coming out of North Dakota State I think the track record speaks for itself as a winner. So when I think of a franchise quarterback not only do I think of the physical ability, but I think of being a winner, winning ballgames, taking command, being a leader. All those things come to mind." - Carson Wentz on what defines a franchise quarterback