Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz: Comparing the NFL Draft stock of two quarterbacks with plenty to prove.
Cal head coach Sonny Dykes knew exactly what he had in Goff, who started all three years with the Golden Bears. In 2013, Goff became the first quarterback in school history to start as a true freshman, and he made a regular appearance on Saturdays. He started all 37 games he played in with Cal. Even when he rolled his ankle against Texas this past season, Goff went right back out the following week to lead his team to a win over Washington. There are no health concerns with the former Golden Bear.
After taking a redshirt in 2011, Wentz saw action in just 19 games as a backup during his first two years of action. In 2014 the tide turned and Wentz started all 16 games for North Dakota State. As a redshirt senior in 2015, Wentz started the first six games but broke his right wrist and missed the next eight games. It would be more comforting for NFL teams if the injury was buried further in the past, but his wrist looked pretty solid at the NFL Combine. There’s no reason to believe he’ll be hampered moving forward.
Physically, both players have the components general managers look for in a quarterback. Wentz does have a slight edge in height and in arm length. He also roughly possesses a 20-pound advantage, which aids his tendency to take off out of the pocket and beat defenders with his legs.
This is more of a contrast than a comparison. Goff started all three years at Cal, while Wentz had an entire year to learn the offense when he took a redshirt in 2011. Despite this, Wentz saw action in 43 games compared to Goff’s 37, though the numbers aren’t even close.
There seems to be a consensus opinion that Goff most resembles Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan, and that’s a spot on description. Both are tall with slim builds and possess a gunslinger mentality. However, that isn’t to say Goff is the next Ryan. A better diagnosis would be to say he has the build of Rich Gannon, with a similar bounce in the pocket and delivery to Drew Brees. Oh, and he has Ryan’s arm.
Wentz’s ability to use his legs has led some to believe he mimics Ben Roethlisberger or even Blake Bortles. Saying he’s comparable to “Big Ben” is a bit of a reach. The Bortles frame is more fitting for Wentz. He has a big arm like Bortles and a similar delivery. When he gets out of the pocket and heads upfield, Wentz is reminiscent of Tim Tebow in the way he carries the ball and takes on defenders.
Best Team Fits
More than a few teams are in need of a quarterback in this draft. That’s been established. And a few teams would love to tack on the free-throwing Goff. Cleveland, San Francisco, Houston and Los Angeles are all mulling the idea of taking a passer in the first round.
Scouts are impressed by his arm strength and size, and all the same teams with interest in Goff are the ones taking a long, hard look at Wentz. The benefits of being selected by the Rams are the exact same, but the best fit for the former Bison quarterback would have to be with San Francisco.
Jared Goff – No. 1 overall, Los Angeles Rams
Carson Wentz – No. 2 overall, Cleveland Browns