As is customary around this time of year, NFL Media's Mike Mayock today held a marathon conference call with the media to discuss prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft and what teams may or should be looking for. One of the most interesting comments made by the analyst was about North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.
Mayock noted that California quarterback Jared Goff is more polished and ready to go right now but that Wentz has more upside. In fact, Mayock seems to think that Wentz has a huge upside, as he said that the quarterback has as high of a ceiling as Andrew Luck.
"When I look at him, I see a kid that's as athletic or more athletic than Andrew Luck. He's bigger thanAndrew Luck. He's got arm strength comparable to Andrew Luck," Mayock said, according to NFL.com. "He just doesn't have the experience that Andrew Luck had at a high level coming out of college. So I see a ceiling for this kid similar to Andrew Luck. That's why I believe in this kid so much, but it's going to take a little bit of time."
That's certainly high praise for the quarterback, as Andrew Luck was one of the highest-rated and most well-regarded prospects in recent memory when he left Stanford for the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck was considered to be the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, and his upside was enormous. He was the easy choice to be the top overall pick in that year's draft by the Colts and is clearly their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future.
As for Wentz, the physical skills are indeed comparable, as Wentz is very athletic and can move around well, adding a unique mix at the quarterback position that could be seen as similar to Luck. But there's debate about whether Wentz is even a first-round worthy prospect (though it's almost certain he'll be drafted in the first round), so the comparison of Wentz having a similar ceiling to Andrew Luck is incredibly high praise.
It's also very interesting, as Wentz seems to be a long way from actually reaching that level. Coming out of Stanford, Luck was the most polished quarterback in the draft and viewed as pro ready, whereas Wentz may have similar physical traits but needs more development and experience.
Carson Wentz will likely be drafted high in the 2016 NFL Draft, with several teams looking for a quarterback. His physical traits are evident, and Mike Mayock seems to think the quarterback has a ceiling similar to Andrew Luck's. If teams believe that as well, we could see a franchise jump at the opportunity to take the signal-caller.
Regardless of how Wentz does turn out, however, the Colts are set with Andrew Luck as their quarterback for years to come. Though 2015 was a rough season all around for number 12, he has shown enough in his first four seasons in the NFL to inspire plenty of confidence moving forward and, as scouts noted at the time, his physical traits are still clearly evident. Luck has everything you're looking for in a complete quarterback, which is why it's such high praise for a prospect to be compared to him. Hopefully, the Colts will see Luck continue to develop and continue to become even better, because he does have such a high ceiling. He has been well on his way to reaching that so far, which is why there's reason to believe that he will bounce back nicely from a rough 2015 and be a star franchise quarterback in Indianapolis.