Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft Carson Wentz showed he’s ready for the spotlight in a 29-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Sure, it was the Browns, but the rookie gave Eagles fans some hope for the future.
The crazy part about it is the Browns initially held the second overall pick and the chance to take Wentz, but the team felt the North Dakota State quarterback wasn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Instead, Cleveland opted for Robert Griffin III and traded the selection to the Eagles.
Wentz made them pay for that, finishing 22-of-37 for 278 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t perfect, but Wentz spread the ball around and showed a great chemistry in the works with Nelson Agholor, who had a disappointing rookie season with Sam Bradford at the helm.
“This is who he is,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson after the win. “This is his DNA. He prepared like a veteran, and he played that way. His maturity level was outstanding.”
So, to recap, Wentz looked like a veteran—calm, cool, and collected. A great impression from someone the Browns didn’t consider a top 20 player in this draft.
“Even though you have a desperate need for [a quarterback], you have to resist the temptation of taking that guy just because you have a need if you don’t believe he’s one of those 20 guys at the end of the day,” said Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta around draft time. “I think that’s the hardest part, just maintaining your discipline because you have the need. That’s what we did this year.”
Now, to be fair, one game isn’t enough to say that Wentz is the next Peyton Manning, especially when that one game comes against the Cleveland Browns, but everyone can appreciate the irony. The Browns have never had any luck with quarterbacks in the past, with the most recent disaster being Johnny Manziel.
Again, it’s too early to say, but did they miss yet another one?