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Sophomore QB’s Start off the 2017 Season Sizzling

 

No matter who the best prospects are in the NFL draft for a given season, it seems inevitable that at least one, if not multiple, Quarterbacks will go in the top few picks. Quarterback is the most important position in football, and every year teams are trying to find the player that is the next big thing in hopes that he will lead them to success for years to come. It takes a lot of time to fully judge a Quarterback, as they often times may need to develop a little bit, or simply don’t immediately have the pieces around them to find success. That being said, it seems as though the 2016 draft class produced two phenomenal players in Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, that are starting to make exponential jumps in only their second seasons. On top of progressing individually, these players are leading their teams to success early in the 2017 season, and hope to keep up the pace for years to come. While it is still early to call, I think that it is reasonable to believe that these two Quarterbacks could run the league for years to come.

 

Jared Goff (Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams #1 overall in 2016 out of the University of California, Berkley)

What were people saying out of college?

Jared Goff playing for the University of California, Berkley. (USATSI)

Scouting reports surrounding Goff were concerned about his accuracy translating to the NFL. It was known that the kid had an arm that could make just about any throw on the field, as well as the poise of an NFL Quarterback. So far Goff has been able to achieve the high points that people saw coming out of college, as the arm skills and leadership of the offense have been as good as one could hope for. As far as his weaknesses go it is apparent that he struggles with completion percentage, but the upside is that he has improved greatly from his rookie year to this year regarding completion percentage.

First Year Results

Goff’s first year was rough to an outsider looking in. He was thrown in 9 games into the season as the Los Angeles Rams needed a change in Quarterback, and they decided to give the ball to the young gun Jared Goff. When watching him play you could tell that the potential was there, but the stat line did not follow. He ended the season completing 54.6% of passes and throwing for 1089 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. All of this

Jared Goff (left) talking to Rams Head Coach Sean McVay (right) during practice. (USATSI)

considered, Goff did not have the best of teams around him, and was operating in an offense that was not built for his playset. This led to Goff going 0-7 in the year, and some people doubting his skills going into the 2017 season.

Second Year Results

While some people were doubting Goff’s skills, the Rams were buying into the Jared Goff era. The organization went and made offseason moves to give Goff weapons (Drafting Cooper Kupp and trading for Sammy Watkins), as well as protecting him upfront with improvements to the offensive line (Signing Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan). These additions along with the ability to build the offense around Goff has lead to much better results during his sophomore campaign. Through six games Goff has improved his completion percentage by 5.4% from 2016, and has thrown a much better ratio of 8 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Along with these boosted stats, Goff’s big arm is being shown off as he averages the most yards per completion in the league (13.4) so far, this season. Overall, he is performing with the best in the league up to this point, coming in at 9th in passer rating (93.2) through the first 6 weeks.

What does the future look like?

The Rams have a very talented and young roster around Goff and are in a division that seems to be getting older and older as the Seahawks and Cardinals are starting to regress talent wise. I could see the Rams making a run at the division, more realistically the wild card, this season. That being said, I expect that within the next two seasons the Rams will make a big jump in the division, becoming the team to beat in the NFC West for years to come and creating a dynasty within the division.

 

Carson Wentz (Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles #2 overall in 2016 out of North Dakota State University)

What were people saying out of college?

Carson Wentz playing during his collegiate career for the North Dakota State University Bison. (USATSI)

Much like Goff, there was no question about the raw talent of Wentz. Wentz has the arm to make every throw on the field, as well as phenomenal touch, placing the ball where the receiver has a major advantage over the defender. Because of this great placement, scouts were extremely high on Wentz’s accuracy, unlike his counterpart Goff. Wentz’s flaws were the exact opposite of Goff’s, in that scouts questioned Wentz competition as he came from a FCS school, as well as his inability to make progressions when his main targets were covered up.

 

 

First Year Results

Unlike Goff, Wentz started week 1 of the 2016 season, and seemed to silence any doubters almost immediately. While against weaker competition (Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh), Wentz started off his career extremely hot with a 3-0 start. During this stretch he completed 64.71% of his passes, averaging 256 yards a game (769 yards total) and throw 5 touchdowns with no interceptions. After this hot start Wentz and the Eagles started to decline, finishing the season with a 7-9 record and missing out on the playoffs, but the promise was there for Wentz to be the Quarterback of the future for the Eagles.

Carson Wentz playing for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Second Year Results

Much like Goff, Wentz has made major strides his second season. Right now, Wentz has the Eagles on top of the NFC East, and tied for the best record in the NFL at 5-1. Much of this success is due to Wentz playing to the level of the top Quarterbacks in the league, and the stats back him up. Through six weeks, Wentz ranks 5th in passing yards, 2nd in touchdowns and 7th in passer rating. Outside of rookie sensation Deshaun Watson, the players ahead of Wentz are established Quarterbacks that have been in the league for many years, and Wentz finds himself among them in the rankings. If Wentz continues to play at his current level, it will lead to a great season for Philadelphia with potential for a playoff run come January.

What does the future look like?

While Wentz has debatable been playing better than Goff so far in their young careers, I don’t know if he we be able to lead the eagles to constant success for years to come. The NFC East is a division where every team seems to be able to compete almost every year. Other division rivals in the Cowboys and Redskins have young pieces that make them threats to compete in the division year in and year out. Due to this fact I do not know if the Eagles will lead a dynasty in the NFC East, but rather I see them constantly being in the competitive mix for first place in the division and sneaking into the playoffs a majority of seasons.

 

While Goff’s and Wentz’s careers are both young, they look to be two stellar Quarterbacks that are going to run the league for years to come. Both have shown improvements from their rookie season, and seem to be getting familiar with the offenses around them. Assuming that neither player experiences a major injury or setback, I believe that they could be the top two Quarterbacks in the league in 3-5 years, making the 2016 draft class one to remember throughout history.