QB #11 Carson Wentz, North Dakota St.

6’6” – 235 lbs. – 4.75e

Redshirted in 2011, then spent the next two seasons as a backup. Took over the starting job as a redshirt junior, a role he reprised for his senior season; however, missed a handful of games after breaking his wrist. Led the Bison to championships in each of his final two seasons, their fourth and fifth consecutive titles. Two-time captain. Operates out of a hybrid offense which asks him to take snaps from under center; scheme involves plenty of read-options and package plays in which he’s given the opportunity of handing off or throwing the ball. Fairly athletic quarterback who has the ability to roll out from the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield; also carries the ball sometimes on read options, with more agility than many passers of similar stature. Can complete passes while moving to either the left or right. Footwork in the pocket needs to be cleaned up; looks too deliberate when dropping back and doesn’t step into his throws, generating most of his velocity with his arm as opposed to effective weight transfer. Moves pretty well to avoid rushers in the pocket, although he often runs instead of going through his progressions. Has an elongated delivery, which is exacerbated by a tendency to stare down his first option; could be preyed upon by faster pro defensive backs. Throws a catchable ball with a tight spiral and good touch, but overall ball placement is suffers the further he’s asked to throw; often lets his deep ball sail beyond his receiver. A bit of a gunslinger who’s at his best when he’s throwing bullets at the short-to-intermediate level; capable of fitting the ball into some tight windows with accuracy, albeit against a lower level of competition. Takes a bit more punishment than you’d like to see, with a competitive on-field demeanor that makes him reluctant to slide at the end of his runs; teams may wonder if the injury he sustained as a senior is a hint of what’s to come given his style of play. A tall, athletic quarterback with a good arm (if not an elite one) and a competitive temperament, Wentz should attract plenty of interest early in the draft owing to the position he plays; having taken snaps from under center will certainly help his cause, although he didn’t go through too many progressions at the college level and needs to clean up his footwork, both in terms of dropping back and transferring weight, not to mention the difficulties he may have in playing against a significantly higher level of competition. Could end up as a starter, but will probably need a year or two of grooming first.

Games watched: Montana (’15), North Dakota (’15), South Dakota St. (’15)

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