The Philadelphia Eagles are going to pick a quarterback in next week’s NFL Draft.
But who and when?
If the Los Angeles Rams pick California’s Jared Goff at No. 1, will the Eagles attempt to trade up to the two spot and take North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz? Will they stay at No. 8 and take Memphis’ Paxton Lynch? Or will they wait until the middle rounds and select either Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan or Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, all of whom the Birds have worked out.
So many different options!
The Rams set the trade-up market with their lucrative package to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans dealt the top pick in the 2016 NFL draft along with their fourth (No. 113) and sixth-round (177) picks to the Rams in exchange for their first-round (15), both of their second round (43 and 45) and third-round selection (76) in 2016 along with a first and a third next year.
This was the reported offer that the Eagles had for Tennessee.
There’s no way in hell I would’ve done that, but if Philadelphia wants to land the No. 2 pick, that’s what it might take.
Why is Wentz such a coveted jewel?
The first thing that pops out at me is his athleticism for a 6-foot-6, 230-pounder. He’s no Nick Foles! He’s very adept at stepping up in the pocket and escaping pressure when it collapses and making people miss in the open field. North Dakota State called designed runs for him, which will translate to the pros when he’s around the goal line.
The next thing are his feet, quick release, arm strength and touch. When I watched the combine back in February, I couldn’t help but notice how light and smooth Wentz’s feet were on his dropbacks compared to the rest of the quarterbacks. The ball also comes out of the his hand very effortlessly and while he might not have the strongest arm in the draft, he’ll have no trouble flinging it on those 18-yard deep outs. Wentz also has the ability to drop it into the bucket on deep patterns and in the back corners of the end zone when inside the 20.
The last thing is his competitiveness and NFL Network’s Mike Mayock compared him to Philip Rivers in that aspect. Quite the praise! He’s a leader and fiery on game days.
The question marks are there too. What about his lack of competition and the fact that he has just 23 starts and 612 pass attempts at the FCS level? And due to that lack of competition, those windows are much larger and more receivers run free than what he’d see in the SEC for example. I’d also like to see his accuracy improve.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of Wentz and believe he has the ability to be a fringe top-10 quarterback in the NFL.
Since the price might be too steep, however, what’s the next best option?
Personally, I wouldn’t use the eighth pick on Lynch, I’d rather use on of those two third-rounders on Prescott or possibly wait a round or two later and take Hogan.
Prescott comes from Dan Mullen’s offense, the same that Tim Tebow used to work under, but Prescott is more developed than Tebow was. Mississippi State’s offense consists of designed quarterback runs and a lot of short passes, but when Prescott does hang in the pocket, he’s not just another one-read mobile quarterback, he goes through his progressions. He’s very calm in the pocket and the rush doesn’t phase him as he was the ability to step up in it and complete throws downfield.
Hogan may not have the strongest arm in the class, but that doesn’t scare me away. He ran a sophisticated pro-style offense at Stanford and does a really good job of reading defenses. He’s very smart, makes good decisions, goes through his progressions to find the open man and can keep plays alive with his feet. He’s my quarterback sleeper in the draft.
So who will join Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel on the roster?
Adrian’s Top 10
1. Carson Wentz (North Dakota State)
2. Jared Goff (California)
3. Paxton Lynch (Memphis)
4. Dak Prescott (Mississippi State)
5. Kevin Hogan (Stanford)
6. Connor Cook (Michigan State)
7. Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)
8. Jacoby Brissett (North Carolina State)
9. Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky)
10. Brandon Allen (Arkansas)
@PHLAnon’s Top 10 QB Rankings
- Jared Goff (Cal): Goff displays passing anticipation downfield, a resilient approach and coordinated feet in the pocket, allowing him to reset his vision and find the open read. He clearly has room for improvement in several areas, but Goff is the type of quarterback who understands his deficiencies and what he needs to do in order to improve. And that’s why scouts are optimistic for his future.
- Carson Wentz (NDSU): His internal clock needs developing, he performs well within structure, but can also improvise when plays breaks down which is shown in the 949 career rushing yards he amassed while in school. He possesses a NFL-style skill-set with his size, athleticism and arm talent, including the field vision to work through reads. Wentz will do best if he is given a redshirt rookie season to adjust and learn at the NFL level.
- Paxton Lynch (Memphis): Lynch is a former running back and is largely self-taught at the position and still very young in the Quarterback position, and has shown vast improvement each of the last three seasons. Lynch needs mechanical work and on-field reps, but he checks boxes for his size, athleticism, arm talent, field vision and appetite for football. Lynch is another guy that would greatly benefit from time and patience. Although is not “perfect” in every area, he has all the tools to develop into a successful NFL starter.
- Connor Cook (Michigan State): Cook has flaws, but he shows a number of reasons to be believe in his potential in the NFL. Cook has the physical traits ideally suited for the pro game with tape that shows off a number of NFL throws.
- Dak Prescott (Mississippi State): Everyone that has watch MSU games knows that Prescott is a bruising runner, using his size, quickness and toughness to run over defenders, but he has shown a much improved feel in the passing game, displaying anticipation, decisiveness and above average awareness to recognize things quickly and react. Not everyone is sold yet as Prescott tends to predetermine his throws and has the bad habit of locking onto his targets, missing open reads downfield. Another development prospect.
- Kevin Hogan (Stanford): Hogan is actually one of my favorite quarterbacks in this draft. He has forced NFL scouts to look at him more thoroughly after his Senior season. He does have a elongated delivery and his passing vision do raise some concerns, but he’s built for the NFL game with the a bounty of intangibles that teams covet. His arm talent is debated, but this is the guy that could get forgotten about for two years, and then shock a lot of people in the NFL when he is ready to start.
- Cardale Jones (Ohio State): Jones has a live arm to make any throw, but his huge arm also lacks consistent direction with hot-cold accuracy downfield. Currently, Jones is more of a thrower than passer. He doesn’t play with anticipation and is still very raw reading coverages, needing extensive work with his position coach at the next level. Jones is a developmental prospect that could make someone look very smart in a few years.
- Christian Hackenberg (Penn State): Hackenberg had a promising freshman season, but has digressed in a big way since. He didn’t receive much help from his surroundings with questionable play-calling and a leaky offensive line, but Hackenberg deserves plenty of blame as well. It is no secret within our team that I absolutely hate Hackenberg, and don’t see him ever finding success in the NFL. He is the next Jimmy Clausen in my opinion. All hype, very little NFL talent.
- Brandon Allen (Arkansas): Scouts view Allen as a camp arm and a late round pick. He will receive draftable grades from some teams as he has shown the necessary skills to develop into a backup at the next level. However, that seems to be his ceiling, purely a backup.
- Jacoby Brissett (NC State): Brissett is well-built with physical traits for the next level with his size, mobility and arm talent. He can make NFL throws, but makes slow reads, has been gun shy as a downfield thrower. You will see a lot of dink and dunk football that leads to numbers that can be deceiving. Brissett has enough talent to carve out a back-up role, but tough to see him becoming a starter down the road due to his inconsistencies. He’s someone that may excite in training camp based on athleticism, but please temper those expectations.
I would be excited about any of the top three quarterbacks being in midnight green. While many fans may make a bunch of noise if we selected a developmental QB over an OL, the Eagles do need to grab a signal caller for the future. They can’t keep playing QB roulette. If they do not select one of the top three, then I’m looking at Hogan or Prescott in the 3rd-4th round range. These are guys that could be very exciting after some “ripening” and “tutor time.” The Eagles will absolutely 100% be drafting a QB this year, so be ready to see one of these guys green. PLEASE DON’T BE HACKENBERG!