2016 NFL Draft: Five High-Risk, High-Reward Prospects for 49ers
By Jerod Brown
Carson Wentz-Quarterback-North Dakota State
I recently published a piece examining the 49ers’ quarterback Big Board for the 2016 NFL Draft. Carson Wentz was ranked second–behind Cal’s Jared Goff–as one of the best prospects in this class should the 49ers be looking for a quarterback early.
In that case, why would he be listed here as a high-risk, high-reward prospect? Most draft analysts will agree that, for better or worse, if a team wants Wentz, they’ll have to move into the top-10 of the draft to select him.
If the 49ers decide that Wentz is the quarterback to lead this team in the future, they’ll likely have to spend their first pick selecting him. They might even have to move up. Spending their first-round selection on a quarterback is an incredibly risky move for a team that has struggled to find a franchise quarterback over the last 15 years.
Wentz comes with tremendous size, college production and the off-field demeanor that teams will covet. He checks all of the boxes in terms of attitude and willingness to be the leader of a franchise. Depending on who you ask, he might even have the best skill set of any quarterback in this class.
Wentz makes this list as a high-risk, high-reward prospect because the projections for him are all over the map. Some draftniks suggest he is being severely overrated while others have them as their top overall quarterback.
These are two of the most respected analysts in the National Football League. How could a prospect so highly-regarded by some be so doubted by others?
Wentz has played at an FCS school, considered to be a lower level of competition, and he hasn’t had much experience. He’s only played two seasons and sat out some of the 2015 season healing from a broken wrist. Quite frankly, he is one major projection.
Wentz could end up being an excellent quarterback in the NFL. He certainly has the size, arm and athletic ability to succeed. Or he could also be overwhelmed by the amount of talent that every team possesses. For that reason, and the fact that it’ll take quite a lot to select him, Wentz makes this list as a high-risk prospect.
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