Draft season never ends. Although the lights have turned off at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago and the lectern has been put away, teams are already setting their boards. With that in mind, Mark Schofield has an early look at the top QBs in the 2016 NFL draft.
Carson Wentz – North Dakota State
With more NFL teams pulling passers from the FCS ranks, Carson Wentz might be the next member of an NFL QB class that includes Tony Romo, Joe Flacco and Jimmy Garoppolo.
In his first year as the starter for North Dakota State, Wentz led the Bison to its fourth-consecutive FCS title. The signal-caller posted strong numbers for NDSU in his first year under center, completing 63.7% of his passes for 3,111 yards and 25 touchdowns, with only 10 interceptions. But it was his ability to deliver in the clutch that was evident during the Bison’s run to the title. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 237 yards and one TD against Illinois State in the championship game and topped off his performance with a game-winning drive starting inside his own red zone with 95 seconds left. Wentz ran in the game-winner from the 5-yard line.
If that wasn’t enough, Wentz turned in similar heroics in NDSU’s opening playoff game against South Dakota State. Trailing by four with 3:18 remaining, the QB led the Bison on the game-winning drive that included this TD throw against the Jackrabbits:
The QB drops in the perfect throw against the Red 2 coverage from the defense, and the Bison moved on to the FCS quarterfinals.
Wentz has perfect size for the position, (6’ 5” 230) and impressive physical tools to play QB. ESPN Draft Guru Mel Kiper ranked Wentz as the third-best senior QB prospect in next year’s draft. One more season of prolific numbers – and a few impressive finishes – will have the FCS talent rocketing up draft boards in the fall.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.