The Philadelphia Eagles went all in on Carson Wentz at the 2016 NFL Draft, giving up a huge number of draft picks to draft the young North Dakota State quarterback with the second overall pick in the draft. It seemed very strange for a team that already invested $35 million in Sam Bradford and $21 million in Chase Daniel to draft Carson at such a high cost.
Just two days after the Eagles drafted Wentz, he got a taste of what it will be like to play in Philadelphia. Fox Sports reported that an Eagles fan asked Wentz for his autograph, and when Wentz declined the request, the fan started jeering Carson and said he will get ready to boo him now. He then started booing Wentz harshly and asked what Carson was going to do about it.
An Eagles fan gives Carson Wentz a Philadelphia welcome by booing him for not signing autographs. https://t.co/Hk98NlFkjy
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) May 1, 2016
This is going to be a tough time for Went — and the Eagles in general. With the team getting rid of numerous stars over the last two years, including DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin, there is little for Carson and this offense to work with. Not only that, but Sam Bradford has demanded a trade when he learned that the Eagles were throwing away numerous high draft picks for a third quarterback, realizing that they only want him around for the next year.
Interestingly, Wentz knows almost nothing about Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2008 after a fabulous career with the Oklahoma Sooners. Bradford went to the St. Louis Rams as the first overall pick and suffered numerous injuries while playing for a team that had no weapons on offense and little more in an offensive line. With no help, Bradford tore both ACLs in subsequent years. He was rescued from the horrible Rams thanks to a trade with the Eagles.
In his first season in Philadelphia, Bradford threw for 3,725 yards, with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He really started to look more comfortable in the final half of the season, getting used to Chip Kelly’s playbook. More importantly, Bradford stayed healthy thanks to an offensive line that could actually block. In what looked like a second season that could build off his first year in Philadelphia, the Eagles are not just starting over again, but they are also rebuilding without any real offensive weapons.
It is a step backward for Bradford. Wentz told NBC Sports that he knows little about his competition for the starting quarterback spot in Philadelphia.
“Obviously I know he was a top pick and everything, not too many years ago, and obviously I know he was with the Rams and everything, and now here. But you know, I haven’t watched a ton of film on him. I watched a lot of film on guys like Brady and Manning and Rodgers, those types of things. So I don’t know as much as some of the other guys.”
That is pretty harsh, but it makes sense. While Bradford was a number one draft pick and one of the top quarterbacks in college football during his time at OU, he has not had the chance to prove himself in the NFL, so a young quarterback like Carson will not be looking at him for inspiration. Now, thanks to the Eagles draft moves, he might still not have that chance for the next year.
What is even worse is that they play for the Philadelphia Eagles. Carson Wentz will a chance to learn firsthand what it is like to play in the City of Brotherly Love, where sports fans are the most ruthless in the world. They boo Santa Claus. They throw snowballs with batteries in them at former players. They will boo anyone who they feel is not worth their team, including Carson Wentz, if he struggles.
Wentz played for North Dakota State for four seasons. That means that Wentz is going from an FCS school to the NFL, and he will need a lot of grooming to make it as an NFL-caliber quarterback. Carson’s numbers look good, especially his 45 touchdowns compared to only 14 interceptions, but Wentz will have a long way to go if he wants to win in the NFL. In Philadelphia, Carson Wentz will find it is just as hard off the field as it is on it.
[Photo by Brian Kersey/AP Images]