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Breaking down Carson Wentz

6 August 2020 Uncategorized

Since he was drafted at #2 overall in 2016, Carson Wentz has had a microscope on him.  Whether people are comparing him to Jared Goff and Dak Prescott, or maligning him for missing time with injuries, Wentz has been one of the main topics of conversation around the NFL.  Let’s get one thing straight though:  Carson Wentz is a superstar talent. Wentz has an array of skills that make him one of top 10 quarterbacks in this league.  For starters,  his arm talent is no joke, and while it’s not quite on the level of Pat Mahomes or Josh Allen, it’s a serious strength. This guy can really throw the ball. Just look at the video below that shows a compilation of deep ball throws from Wentz over the last few years.

Wentz has an uncanny ability to scramble out of trouble at any given time and due to his 6’5 240 lb. frame, has the strength to stand up in the pocket and still get the ball out while under extreme pressure from the litany of defensive players coming at him. For him, getting away is second nature. I’m sure most people have seen this clip of him escaping from a certain sack and THEN picking up a 15+ yard first down but every time I watch it it gives me chills.

The Wentz detractors will say he’s injury prone, and that the Eagles also believe this, which is why they selected OU QB Jalen Hurts in the second round of the draft this year.  To the Hurts pick, I believe it was more about always being prepared just in case, and having a guy of Hurts’ caliber of talent at just over $1m per year for the next 4 years is awesome compared to a vet backup that Philly would easily have to pay 5 mil+ for.  You never know what could happen in this league, freak injuries happen all the time.  I argue that Carson Wentz is not ‘injury prone’, but that he’s had bad luck with injuries, i.e. getting speared by Clowney, or that Wentz overcompensating and shifting weight due to his ACL injury is what led to his back injury in 2018. A really good example is this whole thread by Dr. Edwin Porras, who had a whole thread of what injuries are deemed random and just unlucky, vs. what would be a recurring pattern of injury, and where Wentz fits into those groups.

If you click on the tweet itself you’ll be directed to the full thread of Dr. Porras, who makes a good case:  Wentz, with his unrelated grouping of injuries vs. someone like Will Fuller, who has had a whole career of soft tissue and ligament injuries, is not “injury prone”, but is more likely just unlucky in that he had a couple freak injuries that are unconnected to each other.

Last year, Wentz lost almost his entire starting arsenal of weapons. By the end of the season, he had lost DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor, Brandon Brooks, and Jordan Howard, and was reliant on career practice guys like Boston Scott, Greg Ward, Deontay Burnett, and Robert Davis.  Cue the Conor McGregor soundbite, but who the heck were those guys? The point is, Wentz made them look like seasoned vets, as much as they needed to be, and down the stretch went 4 and 0 with 117/193 (67.6%) for 1,199 yards, 7 TD’s and 0 INT’s.  That stretch clinched them the division in a time where nobody would have expected them to compete without their top 4 wide receivers, let alone when Zach Ertz was playing through pain as well. It’s also worth noting that last year, Wentz was the first QB in HISTORY to record a 4,000+ passing yard season while not having a single receiver that went over 500 receiving yards.

This year’s draft class includes guys like Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins.  The Eagles wanted to focus entirely on speed for this draft, and boy did they overachieve there. Getting a guy like Reagor in the first round means that you got a superstar freak athlete who had one of the best films when it came to separation in the draft.  Reagor can go up for any ball and speed right by the corner, and his upside is stratospheric. Getting Wentz a weapon like him could be an absolute game changer for this franchise.  The last time we drafted a receiver who had Eagles fans this excited, it was DeSean Jackson, and we all know how that turned out.  I feel as though 2020 could be the best statistical year yet for Wentz, and by putting all these speedsters on the field as well as making teams account for Miles Sanders, Ertz, and Dallas Goedert, Philly has ensured that every week defensive coordinators will sweat to gameplan for this stud group of talent.

Carson will always be compared to Dak and Goff.  It’s just the nature of being drafted in the same class and the three of them being the standout quarterbacks from that group.  Goff has struggled to deal with pressure his entire career, and Dak has struggled against better teams and the overall inability to show up in big games.  In my opinion, Wentz has shown that he can handle pressure very well, and he not only has an MVP caliber season he put up in 2017, he is better against good teams than either Dak or Goff has been.  I truly believe that Wentz will have the best career out of these 3, and I am grateful that he is our franchise QB.

Photo Credit: USA Today/Bleeding Green Nation

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