Friday, April 29, 2016

The Eagles Draft Carson Wentz: OK, Fine, Let's Just Go Along With This

First Mistake: 1 is not a QB Number
So the top of the NFL Draft happened tonight, and it went as expected. QB 1/2, with the Rams taking the more sure bet in Jared Goff from Cal, and the Eagles getting Carson Wentz from North Dakota State.

Which means that we'll now get to look through Wentz's social media footprint (oh dear, this is never a good idea, particularly if you've had your issues with Jebus Freaks), his highlight reel (impressive, but, well, no one else on the field with him will ever play in the NFL, so taken with a shaker of salt), and the ravings of scouting and draft geishas (who pretty much always go over the top about high picks).

And yes, I can't shake the idea that they've paid too much for him. Or that the transition will be awkward, especially because the OL and WRs and RBs are not anywhere near good enough to wet nurse a puppy QB into the NFL. Oh, and he also walks into a locker room where Supposed QB1 is probably going to pull every crappy plebe trick ever invented, because Supposed QB1 doesn't want to be here and wants out by any means fair or foul. Also, that his coach has never had this gig before, and even when he had the junior level gig, he took a guy with Wentz's physical profile and skills and turned him into, well, Alex Smith. Who seems like a hell of a comp for Wentz, honestly. Along with a guy that no one seems to think qualifies as Franchise and World-Changing QB.

But let's face facts, folks... Wentz is the face of the franchise now, and will be the most important player in the laundry for at least the next five years, assuming health and the lack of spectacular personal or professional flameout. And here's the thing: it *could* work. The flip side of Alex Smith is Andrew Luck, or maybe even White Cam Newton. The NFC lEast is a pretty good comp for the AFC South. Great QBs can elevate weak offensive lines, and make ordinary WRs look a hell of a lot better than they are. You don't get these guys outside of the first round, unless they are Russell Wilson, and so far, there's only one of those guys. The last time this franchise did something kind of like this, it turned into the best era in the franchise's history.

Besides, they got the guy. The Rubicon has been crossed. No un-crossing it.

And there is stuff to like here. He looks like a football nerd. He wasn't always this size, so he's got a shot at not having a massive ego. He's got a chip on his shoulder from not getting the Division I scholarship earlier. He doesn't shy away from contact. He doesn't look like he telegraphs his passes, and has a clean injury history. He's huge, looks quick, has an arm, and seems to be everyone's choice for better overall prospect over Goff. If he did all of this at a higher college level, he'd have been the clear #1, and there's no shot that the team could have traded for him.

It's fun to dream.

And if the dream is a nightmare and a whiff and the franchise continues its death spiral to becoming another owner-driven franchise that makes terrible personnel decisions and tries to short-circuit the process of acquiring talent, because it has no real clue about what it's doing?

Well, we are in the right division for that. And it's the NFL, where almost no one stays terrible for a really long time.

So welcome to Philadelphia, Carson Wentz. Play hard, work hard, and be the great white hope of the fan base, because yeah, we've got those issues, too. Seeing how the franchise is in America.

But more than anything, win more than any QB who has ever played here before.

Which you really aren't likely to do, of course.

But what's the fun in not even entertaining the notion?

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