What They’re Saying About Carson Wentz

Was the Eagles' first pick in the NFL draft a good one?

Carson Wentz and Roger Goodell. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz and Roger Goodell. (USA Today Sports)

With the first round of the draft in the books, let’s take a look at how people across the country — and in Philadelphia — feel about the Eagles drafting Carson Wentz.

Rob Rang of CBS Sports says the Eagles were right to trade up for Wentz.

Because the trades were completed weeks ago, the Rams and Eagles’ selections of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz perhaps weren’t as climatic as the NFL had hoped but they will wind up making both clubs look smart in the long run. Goff earns excellent grades in the three attributes I believe are most important to success at quarterback — anticipation, awareness of his surroundings and accuracy.

Protected by Todd Gurley and the Rams’ fierce defense, Goff can help woo fans in Los Angeles and is an obvious upgrade over the other quarterbacks on the roster. Obviously coming from the lower level of competition, Wentz comes with questions about readiness but he has the opportunity to learn in Philadelphia from a coach in Doug Pederson with a history of developing quarterbacks.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper put the pick into his “Questioning It” category.

My feeling here: Don’t knock the pick, but you sure can knock what this quarterback situation has become. The Eagles moved up to No. 2 overall at a pretty significant cost, and for a quarterback they feel can be the future. I think Carson Wentz needs a significant amount of seasoning due to the jump in competition — this is an unprecedented draft slot for a QB from this level of competition — but the question here is about how this occurred. The locker room dynamic is really problematic here if Sam Bradford is frustrated by this process, whether he’s the one voicing his frustration or it’s being voiced for him. If the Eagles really don’t want to trade Bradford, they’ve put themselves in a difficult situation. And really, where would they deal him?

Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar gives Philadelphia an ‘A’ for the pick.

Don’t debit Wentz because he played in the Missouri Valley Football Conference—he’s more NFL-ready than you may think. He has great mobility, the size to run QB power like Cam Newton and a full read palette that belies his small-school history. The Eagles got the second quarterback in this draft class, but in the end, they may well have selected the better one overall. Think Ben Roethlisberger as a long-term comparison.

USA Today’s Steven Ruiz gives the Eagles a ‘C’ for the Wentz selection.

Wentz will take at least a year or two to develop into a starter — he tends to get antsy in the pocket and takes too long to work through his reads — but that seems to be the plan in Philadelphia with Sam Bradford signed to a two-year deal. Trading up for a quarterback who is not seen as a special prospect was an odd move; even if Wentz develops into a good starter, it will be hard for the Eagles to build around him after giving up multiple picks to get him.

The MMQB’s Andy Benoit thinks Wentz will beat out Sam Bradford for the starting spot to begin the season.

If you think Sam Bradford is peeved now, wait for when the end of training camp rolls around and new head coach Doug Pederson names Wentz his starter. If you talk to Wentz and study him closely, you’ll have a very difficult time envisioning him learning from the bench as a rookie. There’d be no point in sitting the 23-year-old. As Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, Greg Cosell and countless others inside the NFL have said: This is the most pro-ready QB to enter the league since Andrew Luck. Keep in mind, Bradford has been a middling NFL quarterback and will be learning a mostly new system just like Wentz will. This will begin as an inherently equal QB competition. And all ties would go to the youngster.

Will Brinson of CBS Sports names Bradford as a “loser” after the first round of the draft.

Colin Kaepernick/Sam Bradford: These two guys were probably holding out hope they might end up landing in Denver if nothing materialized for the Broncos in terms of a quarterback during the draft.

Instead, Denver landed Lynch and now any hope of a deal for a big name like Kap or Bradford is over. The Broncos are going to go with Lynch and Mark Sanchez and Kap is going to have to play nice with Chip Kelly. Bradford should probably start answering Doug Pederson’s phone calls.

The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane writes that while Wentz has arrived, the Bradford problem remains.

This was Carson Wentz’s day, but the Eagles couldn’t avoid the other quarterback who wasn’t in the room and hasn’t been at the NovaCare Complex since requesting to be traded on Monday.

Nor should Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson have been allowed to avoid him after they made the unprecedented decision to move up to the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft for a quarterback when they already had an entrenched starter in place.

Whether you agree with Sam Bradford’s reaction to what transpired last week or not – and it says here that he has overestimated his worth – what shouldn’t be argued is that the Eagles did a poor job of anticipating the aftershocks of their franchise-altering trade.

David Murphy of the Daily News believes Wentz will have to be better than good for the Eagles’ move to pay off.

Carson Wentz will need to be better than Joe Flacco. He will need to be better than Steve McNair. He will need to be better than Phil Simms and Ken O’Brien and Doug Williams and Dan Pastorini.

For any of this to have a chance of working, Wentz will need to be the best first-round draft pick to ever come from a non-Division I-FBS school. That’s the situation the Eagles have created for their rookie. He cannot merely be solid. He will need to be the kind of player who can take any collection of players and make them a playoff contender, the way only a handful of guys have been able to do (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Roethlisberger, to name a few). Because the Eagles have put themselves in a position where they will need the best of fortune even to put an adequate team around him.

But if Wentz does not reach that potential – or at least come very, very close to it – the Eagles will have wasted at least a half decade only to find themselves worse off than they were before. There really isn’t much of an in-between. That is the danger here, and it isn’t clear if Roseman and Doug Pederson fully grasp it.

CSN Philly’s John Gonzalez calls Wentz a smart, calculated gamble by Howie Roseman.

That’s what this Wentz business is about, and Roseman — from a selfish, careerist perspective — was right to enact the plan. Bradford isn’t a solution to any problem worth solving. Neither is Chase Daniel. Wentz is an unknown. Figuring out what he can and can’t do will take a while. Roseman willingly tethered himself to that timetable. It’s a savvy strategy. If Wentz doesn’t work out — if he’s just another guy who was overhyped and then underperforms — Roseman will get fired. That would have eventually happened even if Roseman didn’t gamble on Wentz and instead played it safe. At least this way Roseman bought himself some time.

But if Roseman hits on Wentz, if Wentz becomes an above average quarterback or something special, he will extend his front office career with the Eagles by a significant margin. If that happens, if Wentz can play, Roseman won’t just stick around for a while, he’ll suddenly be thought of as one of the best executives the Eagles and the town have seen. Imagine that — Roseman’s image once again recast in improbable fashion.