Here’s what we know: Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are the consensus top two quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. We also know that the Los Angeles Rams will select one of them first overall.
Anything beyond that? Speculation.
Which direction will the Rams go? Nobody knows.
“Well, I guess it depends on which quarterback camp you’re more favorable of right now,” former NFL offensive lineman and current NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It seems to be pretty split between Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. But just in my own evaluation, for whatever that’s worth, it looks to me like Jared Goff is just a better prospect at this point. I don’t know that he’s Andrew Luck or Cam Newton or Peyton Manning or Eli. I mean, I don’t know that he’s going to be like that. But we understand the value of quarterbacks. Everybody wants one; if you don’t have one, you need one. It looks to me like Jared Goff is just a better player at this point. I don’t know what’s going to happen this year or five years from now, but right now, coming out of college, it looks like he’s ready to go.”
If the Rams are splitting hairs between the two prospects, Baldinger believes college pedigree has to come into play. Wentz beat up on the FCS, while Goff dominated a Power Five conference.
“Yeah, I don’t know how you can’t factor that into the evaluation,” Baldinger said. “If North Dakota State is playing Northern Iowa, there’s not a single player on the field on Northern Iowa that’s going to get drafted or be an NFL player. But if you’re Jared Goff and you’re playing USC or UCLA or Stanford or Oregon, there’s NFL players all over the place. I do think it makes a difference (with the) level of athlete that you’re competing against. When I see Carson Wentz running the read-option and he’s chucking some linebacker, chances are he can’t do that in the SEC. So I do think it makes a difference, and I think you got to factor it in.”
Regardless of which player goes No. 1 – Wentz or Goff – Baldinger doesn’t see Cleveland taking a quarterback. Instead, he sees the Browns trading the pick.
“Nobody’s showing their cards – and they shouldn’t – but I don’t think that they feel like whatever quarterback is remaining at No. 2 can come in and rescue that franchise right now,” Baldinger said. “I think they’re going to draft a quarterback later on. I think they’d love to get a bounty of picks much like Tennessee did, and I think they’re open for business. If they can’t get what they want, then I think at No. 2 – whether they take Joey Bosa or they take Jalen Ramsey or DeForest Buckner, I don’t think they can go wrong with any of those players.”