Weekend Reading: Carson Wentz Is the ‘Holy Grail’
This weekend’s Eagles stories as you wait for their game tonight in Indianapolis:
Kansas City’s Brad Childress really, really likes Carson Wentz, reports the Ringer’s Kevin Clark.
Childress, meanwhile, believes the current holy grail is the prospect who ran spread plays at the college level that can be easily imported to the pro level. He mentioned Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, who at North Dakota State played in a multiple-style offense that incorporated spread concepts. Childress was impressed that Wentz played under center sometimes and in the shotgun at other times, and that regardless of the formation, he was adept at making various throws. He said some of the sweep plays Wentz ran were particularly impressive, and that he wants to incorporate what he saw into the Chiefs’ game plan.
Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, who took Wentz second overall in the draft, called his college system “a pro-style concept that hints at where the sport is going.” Roseman, like Spielman, said that changes in the college game have forced him to alter how he evaluates passers: Because the college game is so different from the NFL game, Roseman is forced to put less emphasis on tape and more emphasis on test scores and smarts.
In 10 years, Wentz will be like Matt Schaub while Dak Prescott will be like Donovan McNabb, says Bill Reiter of CBS Sports.
Next up, Carson Wentz, who, and he’ll talk about this, is having a very Matt Schaub-like career. Lot of production, a couple pro bowls, tall, athletic guy with nice pocket presence. Good career. When the Eagles traded up for him with the No. 2 overall pick, there were mixed feelings. But the guy’s really worked out. Real solid career.
Again, time helps. His injury early in his rookie year actually was a blessing in disguise. It led the Eagles to slow things down for him, gave him time to ease into the league. Paid off, big time. Carson, thanks for joining us.
You either can or can’t play at this level. Dak could from day one. Like McNabb, he was a mobile quarterback who could still hurl the ball.
Dak, have a seat right there. Welcome. Appreciate you making time with another big season around the corner for you. Saw you and Russell Wilson talking at last night’s premier of “Fast And The Furious 25: Let’s Go So Even Much More Faster This Time,” starring action hero Tom Brady. Assume you guys were talking about being drafted in the third and fourth rounds and winning more Super Bowls than the guys drafted ahead of you in your respective drafts. Good stuff.
Doug Pederson talked to the MMQB’s Albert Breer about Russell Wilson and the Eagles’ quarterback strategy.
Add it up, and you can argue that no team in NFL history has sunk as much into getting it right at a single position—even the most important position in team sports—as the Eagles did at quarterback this year. And while Pederson did admit that if you’d told him in January it’d play out this way, he’d have said (his word) “Whoa!”, this is all in line with how he thinks the position he once played should be handled.
“I just think of what Indianapolis went thru with Peyton at the end,” Pederson said. “He got hurt, and there was nobody. They had guys on the roster, but there was nobody. And they went thru a year there where it was not as good. I don’t ever want to be in that position, and just rely on, ‘You’ll be OK for X amount of years.’ I just don’t want to be in that position.”
Indications thus far are that they won’t be. Save for a messy two-week period with Bradford after the trade for the second pick, the Eagles have been thrilled with what they’ve gotten from their starter. Daniel has been what Pederson expected when he brought him along from Kansas City. And while Wentz needed to be sped up in different ways coming from an FCS program, his progress is right where it should be.
Just as important, it has worked in the room between the three guys.
Sterling Xie of Football Outsiders breaks down the value the Eagles gave up to get Wentz.
By trading up for North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, the Eagles have willingly put themselves behind the eight ball in terms of roster construction. Jimmy Johnson’s traditional draft trade value chart pegs the difference between what the Eagles acquired and what they gave up as roughly equivalent to the 44th overall pick. Effectively losing a mid-second round pick is far from insignificant, but it seems like a reasonable cost of doing business when trading up for quarterbacks is involved. However, Chase Stuart’s empirically derived draft-value chart places more weight in mid-round and future picks, and by that standard, Wentz has a very large gap to bridge. Stuart’s chart suggests the net value the Eagles lost in the trade is nearly equivalent to the fourth overall pick, though in reality, Philadelphia’s toll will be much more of a slow bleed. The Eagles will not have a first-rounder next year or a second-rounder in 2018. Philly does not have much cost-controlled young talent on its roster, meaning that Wentz will probably need to compensate for a thin supporting cast early in his career.
Sean Cottrell of Inside the Pylon breaks down the film to reveal what the Birds are getting in Dorial Green-Beckham.
Green-Beckham’s game and style of play reminds me of Dez Bryant. I am certainly not comparing Green-Beckham’s potential to Bryant’s accomplishments, but rather comparing their similar style of play. Bryant is a much more precise route runner than Green-Beckham and the two have very different body types, requiring them to be different in how they play. Their physicality in attacking defenders and winning one-on-one battles, however, is what makes them similar. Bryant is one of a few WRs in the NFL who can make a conscious decision to take over and dominate a game – and follow through on it. Green-Beckham is certainly not there, but I think if he ever pulls it together off the field and realizes how physically dominating he can be, he too is the type of player capable of taking over games while rendering defenses helpless in trying to stop him. That alone, to me, makes him worth betting on.
Green-Beckham is the Eagles’ X Factor, according to the Ringer’s Danny Kelly.
Green-Beckham has shown glimpses as a big-time playmaking threat — he caught 32 balls and four touchdowns as a rookie for the Titans while averaging 17.2 yards per catch — but due to his inability to immerse himself in the playbook, Tennessee cut bait and traded him to Philadelphia for offensive lineman Dennis Kelly. If he can stay out of Doug Pederson’s doghouse — and that’s a glowing, neon-colored “if” — Green-Beckham has the elite size and speed to become a true no. 1.
Stay away from Jordan Matthews in your fantasy football draft, opines NFL.com’s Matt Franciscovich.
The outlook for Philadelphia’s skill players is basically one big shrug emoji heading into the season. New head coach Doug Pederson will take the play-calling reigns for the Eagles. And while Jordan Matthews figures to be the team’s No. 1 option in the passing game, it’s hard to be excited about his outlook in fantasy. Even in a Chip Kelly offense that ranked second in the NFL with 68.9 offensive plays per game, Matthews’ ceiling was sub-1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. With Matthews’ transitioning into more of a slot receiver, those numbers will likely dip this year.
Formerly the offensive coordinator in Kansas City, Pederson’s offense for the Chiefs has notoriously neglected wide receivers. The quarterback situation in Philadelphia isn’t helping matters with Sam Bradford slotted to start. In his last seven games of 2015, Bradford threw just 10 touchdowns ranking him 21st among quarterbacks during that second-half stretch and ironically tied Alex Smith during that span with 7.6 yards per completion. Since Bradford’s mediocre play is likely to continue, Matthews being relegated to slot duties, and the Eagles in line to run a lower-volume offense, it makes sense to avoid this Philadelphia receiver on draft day.
The Eagles will work out Darius Reynolds, a local Arena Football League player, writes Stephen Ur of Inside the Arena.
Philadelphia Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds will be playing with his team in ArenaBowl XXIX against the Arizona Rattlers at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ Friday night. After the game, he will be taking a step forward in his career.
Sources say that Reynolds will try out for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. Reynolds has caught 112 passes for 1,447 yards and 38 touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was a bobbling catch to give the Soul the win in the American Conference Championship game against the Jacksonville Sharks.
If he is signed, he will be the second Arena Football League player signed by the Eagles. Cleveland Gladiators DB Joe Powell, who officially signed with the New York Giants last week, signed with the Eagles earlier this season. They cut him soon after and he returned to Cleveland.
Some guy named Tim predicts Isaac Seumalo will be the Eagles’ breakout rookie.
Seumalo could find himself filling a very large role right out of the gate. The left guard spot was previously filled by Allen Barbre, but Barbre has been working at right tackle in advance of a possible Lane Johnson suspension. Seumalo has been getting steady work with the first team at left guard and could end up being the starter there. Running back Wendell Smallwood and cornerback Jalen Mills could get some action, and all bets are off if the Eagles decide to roll with quarterback Carson Wentz at some point, but for now, it looks as if Seumalo has the best chance to be a contributor early.