Finally, after a year of wondering how things would shake out for rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, we are still having the conversation that seems to be never-ending. The 24-year old product out of North Dakota State flashed into the spotlight last year and convinced the Philadelphia Eagles that he was worth trading from 13th overall to 2nd overall to select him in the NFL Draft.
There was much fuss over whether or not the FCS signal caller who threw just 612 passes in college would be able to handle the level of talent that the NFL would present. Now, critics argue that the only reason he amassed the 4th most passing yards amongst rookie quarterbacks in NFL history is because he averaged 38 passes per game. Go figure.
You’ll find a few groups that will dispel the body of work that Carson Wentz produced as a rookie:
- Dallas Cowboys fans
- Rookie QB Dak Prescott had a phenomenal season, so they believe that anything less than Prescott is rookie wasteland.
- Cleveland Browns fans
- The Browns chose to trade the 2nd overall pick to the Eagles instead of drafting Wentz. It is seemingly more fun to root against Wentz than to root for the Browns.
- Draft experts
- It was easy to pick apart the mechanical flaws of Carson Wentz and convince your following he’d be a bust. They’ll be fishing for narratives forever.
You couldn’t count on your fingers and toes the number of young quarterbacks that repeatedly worked with a mechanics coach, tweaked footwork and changed their release point. The problem is that we live in the social media era, where narratives overrule everything. For instance, Wentz hired a QB guru to help fix some of those mechanical flaws this offseason. This would usually be painted as a positive because it shows his desire to improve. Instead, many have taken that as an invitation to criticize his mechanics further.
The new hot trend is finding about 15 plays where Wentz made a mistake and tweeting them in a connected thread to show how “bad” Wentz was. Even some of the worst drops hold captions such as, “Bad drop, but Wentz needs to make a better throw.” A better throw than what? Hitting a guy in the hands? Give me a break. If that is on Wentz, you’ll never be happy.
Carson Wentz gives the Philadelphia Eagles life. It’s something you won’t see while watching his footwork, grading his accuracy or monitoring his mechanics. Unfortunately, the Release Police have been too caught up in over analyzing coachable flaws rather than recognizing his fervor to perfect his craft.
Imagine if the Cleveland Browns quarterback finished 4th all time in passing yards amongst rookie quarterbacks. Imagine Carson Wentz behind a sturdy offensive line, with a few weapons that can make splash plays at his disposal. The narrative might be a little bit different. Since the Eagles traded up for Wentz, and he got off to such a scorching hot start, a hate club formed.
So, how did Carson Wentz handle NFL competition as a rookie? He was just fine. There is no need to bring up all of the other young quarterbacks that have been given a longer leash, or have become media favorites. It’s also pointless to continue hammering home that the Eagles lacked offensive line stability and playmakers. That’s all a waste of time. The bottom line is that Carson Wentz is the face of the Philadelphia Eagles, and he willed his way through 16 games to deliver hope to a franchise that desperately needed it.