The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and one player in particular has been constantly mocked to the Browns in the pre-NFL Draft process. ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper both believe that North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz will be the Browns' pick at No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Many are unfamiliar with who Carson Wentz is and the question "who is Carson Wentz?" is a fairly common one. We're here to answer that question.
As mentioned, Wentz played his college ball at North Dakota State. Wentz became the starter for the 2014 season and was nothing short of impressive. He threw for over 3,000 yards and had 25 TDs while leading the Bison to a fourth-straight FCS Championship. He missed time in 2015 with a broken wrist, but threw for over 1,600 yards in seven games. He recorded 17 TDs and four picks and led NDSU to another FCS title. Wentz hails from North Dakota, which could help explain why he was passed over by major college programs. He didn't start at QB until his senior year of high school. Essentially, he was the North Dakota version of Ben Roethlisberger.
Wentz looks like an NFL QB. He's 6-foot-5 and weighs 237-pounds. He could even add some weight in an NFL workout program. He played in a pro-style system and was clearly the best player on the field in most games. He's athletic too, recording over 1,000 yards and 13 TDs at NDSU. He has a strong arm and was accurate in college, completing 64 percent of his passes. Wentz can make every throw and has some experience actually reading defenses. He's a smart player and should quickly pick up a playbook. Wentz was the best QB at the Senior Bowl.
The biggest knock on Wentz is the level of competition. The jump from the SEC to the NFL is already steep, and the difference between the Missouri Valley Football Conference and NFL is massive. There will be an adjustment period. Wentz needs some work on his deep ball, as he has a tendency to overthrow WRs. The broken wrist and previous arm issues could be a medical red flag, although it sounds like everything came up clean at combine. As with most young QBs, he will turn the ball over and will stare down his first read at times. Wentz needs to learn to get rid of the ball at times, as he had 10 fumbles at NDSU.
Comparison: Blake Bortles
Both Bortles and Wentz flew under the radar before their last years in college and played at smaller schools. Bortles went No. 3 overall and Wentz should go in the same range. Bortles is more athletic than Wentz, but Wentz is more developed from a read and progression view point. Wentz has the potential to be a franchise QB, something the Browns badly need.