News & Analysis

PFF scouting report: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

AMES, IA - AUGUST 30: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the North Dakota State Bison throws the ball in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

Below is the PFF draft profile for North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit: Starting QB

Stats to know: Finished with the ninth-overall grade in the draft class, but had the best raw grade per dropback. Accuracy percentage of 38.5 percent on deep (20+ yard) passes ranked 29th in the draft class. Accuracy percentage of 57.1 percent when pressured tied for 27th in the draft class.

What he does best:
• Arm stands out. Throws with great velocity
• Can fire the ball in there on the deep out/comeback. Made far-hash throws look easy at the college level
• Arm strength on comebacks and seam routes make him a prime candidate for a vertical passing system
• Did a nice job finding the open man and moving the chains in the 1-10 yard range, even if his timing was less than ideal at times
• Did a nice job as a designed runner and as a scrambler in college. Can pick up yards on the ground, but not sure how much his future team will want him to do so at the next level
• Throws with anticipation on first-read throws, can zip the curl route before the wide receiver’s break
• “Shows” touch, but it’s often a much slower throwing motion and his accuracy is hit or miss
• Ranked second in the draft class in adjusted completion percentage at the intermediate (11-20 yard) range at 70.7 percent
• Inexperience. Has his warts, but given how few snaps he’s played, ceiling remains high

Biggest concerns:
• Slow to process in the passing game. Will be late on short and intermediate throws, but arm strength bails him out. Will this still work at the next level?
• Rarely got to a third read in his progression, even when running common, staple passing concepts. Their boot play had three options and Wentz would regularly miss the third receiver, even when the first two receivers were covered
• Inexperienced. Much of Wentz’s lure is the physical size and arm, but will he progress and maximize his potential?
• Accuracy at 21-30 yard range was well below average, his adjusted completion percentage of 43.5 percent ranked 23rd in the draft class. For a big-armed quarterback, has to take advantage of throws in this range to maximize his potential
• Not always nimble maneuvering the pocket. Attempted only eight passes after breaking the pocket and completed one for negative-five yards

Bottom line: There’s a lot to like about Wentz, but still so many question marks. The size and big arm stand out, and it’s not just aesthetics – his velocity is an asset at the short and intermediate range at the next level. The concern is whether or not the big arm loses accuracy beyond 20 yards to be effective. He’ll flash some touch on the deep ball, but it’s far too inconsistent at this point. Wentz would fit well into a vertical passing offense that will allow him to zip throws into the 15-25 yard range while moving the ball in chunks. His lack of timing in the passing game is a major concern, but if he can iron it out, the upside is immense. Any team drafting Wentz is banking on huge improvement in a number of areas, but given his relative lack of experience, the gamble may just be worthwhile.

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