From the moment the Los Angeles Rams acquired the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft from the Tennessee Titans, two quarterbacks have been brought to the forefront of speculation: Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz.

Both young quarterbacks have gone back and forth as the presumptive favorite, with every minutiae and detail of their collegiate and even high school careers being pored over by fans, former coaches and players, radio hosts, sportswriters, and every draft prognosticator in the business. Thankfully, by 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, April 28, the pendulum of speculation will finally stop swinging, the #1 pick will be in the history books, and the Rams will have their quarterback of the future.

While many can make an impassioned case for Jared Goff, an equally strong case can and must be made for Carson Wentz, a championship quarterback who seems tailor-made to fit the Rams system.

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By the Numbers

As Southern Californians, the only time we’ve probably heard of Fargo, North Dakota is in a Coen Brothers movie. That could all change when Roger Goodell steps to the podium and announces that North Dakota’s favorite son is heading west. Coming from Midwest roots to find stardom is a classic Hollywood story, but ultimately, results matter, and the only statistic that counts in the end is winning. With two FCS National Championship titles and a 20-3 record as a starter, Carson Wentz is a winner and nobody embraces a winner like Los Angeles.

After paying his dues as a backup before taking over as a starter for the Bison in 2014, Carson Wentz led the team to a 15-1 record and a National Championship in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly DI-AA). Returning as a starter in 2015, he went 4-2 to start the season before suffering an injury against South Dakota. Carson would miss the next eight games, but would return to start and win the FCS Championship Game, a 37-10 drubbing of Jacksonville State.

Carson Wentz’s career statistics as a passer are a bit skewed because of missing eight games. Based on his averages, there is no reason to believe that Carson would not have thrown for well over 3,000 yards with over 35 touchdowns against 9 interceptions had he played the entire 15-gme season. When the numbers are viewed in totality, they are hard to argue against.

Year Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int

Rate

2012

FR

QB

5 12 16 75.0 144 9.0 8.6 2 0 191.9
2013

SO

QB

7 22 30 73.3 209 7.0 8.6 1 0 142.9
2014

JR

QB

16 228 358 63.7 3,111 8.7 8.6 25 10 154.1
2015

SR

QB

7 130 208 62.5 1,651 7.9 9.4 17 4 152.3

Another dimension that must be mentioned is Carson’s ability to run the ball. At 6′ 6″ 235 lbs, Wentz has proven hard to bring down and can get the crucial yards on the ground if need be, rushing for over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns (Jared Goff’s career rushing resulted in only 1 touchdown and -114 yards)

Another knock against Carson Wentz is the fact that he played against lower caliber opponents in the FCS. If we went by that as a decisive factor, then DI stars Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, and Jamarcus Russell would be in the Hall of Fame and DI-AA quarterbacks like Kurt Warner, Phil Simms, and Joe Flacco would never have set foot on an NFL football field.

ICYMI: Why Jared Goff Should be the No. 1 Pick

In Summation

Carson Wentz's ability to run will give his game the added dimension needed to win in today's NFL

Carson Wentz’s ability to run will give his game the added dimension needed to win in today’s NFL

Physically, Carson Wentz has drawn comparisons to the frame of Ben Roethlisberger with a Tom Brady-like upside. Carson is experienced playing under center in a pro-style offense. Much has been made of Jeff Fisher’s career record as a head coach, but much of an NFL head coach’s success depends on the quarterback they saddle up with, just look Bill Belichick’s success without Tom Brady. Fisher placed his faith in Sam Bradford for three years and gambled on Nick Foles last year. In Tennessee, he had Vince Young forced on him by a meddling owner. When Jeff Fisher had the opportunity to select a franchise quarterback, he nailed it with the selection of Steve McNair, who came from a DI-AA (now FCS) school (Alcorn State). Together, the two took the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV and several division titles.

Under Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead, the Rams have put together a team that is poised for greatness, but is missing that one key ingredient. This is clearly the most important decision in their careers and their choice will be a definitive one for the organization. Jared Goff will make a fine quarterback, but Carson Wentz is the choice that best fits the Los Angeles Rams.

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