In November, Phil Savage – former Browns general manager and current executive director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl – received a message from Carson Wentz, who had just broken his wrist. In his message, Wentz told Savage that he was going to return from the injury, come back and play for North Dakota State and be 100 percent for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
Wentz made good on his word.
“When he showed up here, he was sort of this figure that nobody really knew much about,” Savage said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I don’t think a handful of GMs went to Fargo, North Dakota. I think a lot of area scouts and college directors went there, but not everybody in the league had seen Carson, and when they did, they found out he was 6-5, 237 pounds. He’s got a tight, circular, quick motion (on his throws), he’s got pop and accuracy in his arm, his footwork is efficient, and he’s got mobility to run for a first down. But above and beyond all that, I thought that the intangibles, the leadership that he displayed here on a team full of players from Michigan State, Ohio State, Stanford – much bigger programs – he stepped right in and took over. So to me, he’s got a lot of real positive traits. He’s a big-school prospect that happens to be wrapped in a small-school uniform.”
Wentz will almost assuredly be taken first or second overall in Thursday’s NFL Draft. While many scouts have him as the No. 1 quarterback in this year’s class, the Rams are reportedly high on Jared Goff, meaning Wentz could slip to Philadelphia at No. 2.
That would be great for the Eagles – as long as they’re convinced that Wentz will translate to the NFL. After all, playing against the Carolina Panthers is a little more difficult than playing against Northern Iowa.
Savage isn’t concerned.
“The one measurement is when they did play up to the FBS level, they were undefeated against those teams, if I’m not mistaken,” he said. “They may have been 5-1. So he performed well in those games. Then when he showed up here (for the Senior Bowl) to (face a) higher level of competition, you could argue that he was the best prospect on the field. I think they’ve cleared those hurdles. The question now for Philadelphia is how do they manipulate, negotiate, unwind this quarterback quandary that they’ve developed there with Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel and then ultimately end up with Carson Wentz as their starter? My own opinion is they have to say that Bradford’s not on the block right now because they don’t have the services of one of these rookie quarterbacks secured yet. But I think as soon as that card goes in tomorrow night with the second pick with Carson Wentz’s name on it, I think they’ll start shopping Sam Bradford throughout the remainder of the first round into the second and third round. I think something will happen. I think it’s at least 50/50. I really do.”