Carson Wentz Can Make Offseason Impact for Philadelphia
The offseason has been a busy one for the Philadelphia Eagles. First, they got a new head coach in Doug Pederson, which was a good move by the team if not one that received a bit of a lukewarm welcome. Then came one of the biggest moments for the team--they drafted a quarterback from North Dakota State named Carson Wentz.
It was a need that many Philadelphia Eagles fans knew had to be satisfied. Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford wasn't performing terribly but he wasn't the hope and savior that the Eagles needed. Wentz was one of the top three quarterbacks that were available in the 2016 NFL Draft. Once Jared Goff was taken by the Los Angeles Rams, it became clear that the Eagles were going to pick Wentz. They had traded and dealt their way up to the No. 2 overall draft pick, giving up most of their 2016 picks and even some in next year's draft. When he put on the Eagles jersey on draft day, it was a sight that many hoped would not bring them buyer's remorse.
So far that gamble has paid off for the Eagles.
Wentz looked strong during the training camps in July and beginning of August. He's been working well with the long pass and making sure that his accuracy to receivers improves. Wentz needs to show that he can use his strength and agility to run when pressured in the pocket. He'll also need to work on throwing under pressure, which showed when he missed throwing a pass to tight end M.J. McFarland during camp. However, his efforts during training camp have been paying off. He's been able to show that he can use his legs and use his instincts to make sure that he isn't caught in a difficult situation.
Prior to camp, there was no way that Eagles fans and coaches could really see what he could do on a national stage. He made appearances in the FCS semifinals and National Championship in his junior and senior years respectively. Outside of that, training camp has been the only way for Wentz to be tested on a professional level.
Wentz is a rookie so there are bound to be mistakes made on his part that can be easily corrected. He will most likely take some hits that might leave him bewildered. It's a sign though that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has faith in his first year player. He will not start him in the regular season but it shows that Pederson sees potential. While Wentz is listed as the third-string quarterback, he saw a bulk of the snaps during this past Thursday's pre season game. It was one of the few chances to see him play considering he is not the starter for the team. However, a solid and better than expected performance was clearly seen and it could have rocketed him to a second-string position on the roster.
That move would put him closer to the titular role and if Bradford performs poorly later on, he might see the NFL lights during the regular season.
Regina Ham is an analyst for ProFootball Spot and a staff writer for Inside the Iggles. She also writes about the Philadelphia Flyers for The Hockey Writers. When she's not writing, she works at her job as an associate producer for SiriusXM College Sports Nation. You can catch all her work by liking Regina Ham on Facebook and on Twitter @Regina_ham.