Senior Bowl 2016 Preview: Carson Wentz Bound to Get Biggest Spotlight this WeekBy Russell Westerholm
Possibly the most intriguing prospect taking part in the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Ala. does not have so much as a minute of FBS game tape.
Any NFL team with a need at quarterback will be watching Carson Wentz, a two-year starter for the FCS' North Dakota State. FCS prospects rarely get this kind of attention, let alone at the QB position, and from teams with high picks in the first round, according to NFL.com.
Phil Savage, the Senior Bowl's director, believes the hype surrounding Wentz is real and that NFL scouts really do like what they see in him.
"With Carson Wentz, most of the scouts I talked to during the year probably thought he was worthy of second-round consideration. But a second-round grade in September is a high grade for a small school. As the fall progressed, then it became, 'Well, no he's more of a first-rounder'," he told NFL.com. "And within the last two weeks, I had two phone calls from (NFL personnel) friends of mine saying that Wentz isn't just a first-rounder, he's going in the 10, so there's a real buzz about him."
Wentz is also benefiting from what evaluators call an underwhelming class of QBs, and the North Dakota State passer certainly stands out among the QBs going to the Senior Bowl. But one NFL Network analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, reported teams are not just finding out about Wentz.
Don't buy the narrative that Wentz is going to fly up draft boards. He's already there. Several top personnel guys have him as top QB.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 9, 2016
While many may be getting their first look at him this week, NFL scouts have clearly had their eye on Wentz. He may need a year or two on the bench in the NFL, but he posses both physical and mental traits evaluators look for, CBS Sports noted. He also has experience playing in an NFL-style offense, taking snaps under center and running certain types of plays.
NFL Network will air the Senior Bowl Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.