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2016 NFL Draft: Could a division rival target North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz?

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Two of the four NFC East teams appear set at quarterback. The other two? Not so much.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys are picking in the top 10 this year, and the talk of the town is that one -- if not both -- are looking to add a first-round quarterback to their roster. Thankfully, the New York Giants are well set with Eli Manning for at least a few more years, but what happens if a division rival brings a top QB prospect into the mix?

Measurables

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 237 pounds

Arm Length: 33 1/4"

Hand Size: 10"

40 Time: 4.77 seconds

3-Cone: 6.86 seconds

Vertical Jump: 30.5 inches

Broad Jump: 118 inches

Pros

  • Makes good throws even under pressure behind less-than-ideal offensive line, a key factor for evaluating any NFL quarterback.
  • Good balance when throwing on the run.
  • Better than his numbers suggest.
  • Learned his receivers weaknesses and strengths and played within those limits.
  • Excellent pocket-presence and senses pressure without dropping eyes.
  • Can make deep throws with power, can keep them low and quick, which gets them to the receiver before defender can react.

Cons

  • Prone to throwing without setting his feet, which makes some of the easy throws difficult.
  • Won't fool anyone as a running QB in the NFL, and will need to reign it in to be more Aaron Rodgers than Cam Newton on the ground.
  • Progresses through reads, but sometimes too easy to see which one he's at, which will appear more like staring down a receiver at the NFL level.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 21st

Mocking The Draft - 23rd

CBS - 7th

Draft Tek - 2nd

Does He Fit With the Giants?

Technically, yes, but that's not a realistic option for this draft, so instead let's look at what he may bring to either Dallas or Philadelphia. If Wentz goes to the Cowboys, I think it's the ideal fit for him. I see a lot of Tony Romo in his playing style, and he would benefit greatly from playing behind an elite offensive line who could actually give him time to develop skills rather than shellshock, like how many top QB prospects spend the early part of their career. It's a great setup, with Dez Bryant, a potentially revived running game and tutelage from one of the best quarterbacks of this century. The Cowboys would have to hope the Cleveland Browns fall in love with Jared Goff instead, because relative positional value for a QB is ridiculous, and Wentz -- who was originally projected as a third-round pick -- is now a sure-fire top-5 pick.

However, there is talk of the Eagles trading all the way up to the No.1 spot, which of course, would give them the pick of the litter. You would have to believe Wentz would be the target here, despite what new head-coach Doug Pederson has claimed about Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel being his guys going forward. I'm not buying it for a second. Bradford might not make it out of training camp healthy, Daniel hasn't done anything in the NFL, and this is a new coach with a new team who will most likely be looking for "his guy" at quarterback. Scheme-wise, a West Coast offense like Pederson's would suit Wentz, but the supporting cast would need work to fully get the most out of him, and considering the Eagles would need to trade up to get him, this could be a two or three year project.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think Wentz is not a lock to be a great quarterback, but if the scheme and personnel work in his favor, he could be quite successful. He's a gunslinger-type of the Brett Favre style, but with the functional athleticism of Ryan Tannehill. If you can get him to work within his limitations, like how Alex Smith did once Jim Harbaugh came along, then you could really develop a future star. I don't want to see him in the division, especially not in Dallas, but I think that's the best possible situation for him and football fans everywhere, because let's face it, it's more fun to beat the Cowboys when they think they're a winner.