Are Wentz's Prospects Changing? - Footballguys

The Footballguys staff talks about their current approach regarding Carson Wentz

NFL.com posted a story regarding Carson Wentz's availability for Week 1. Wentz joined WIP Radio in Philly and noted his availability for Week 1 could come down to the wire.

"I obviously would love to be out there," he said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. "That's been my goal all offseason ever since the injury. It's going to be close. It's going to be close. I'm still eyeing that date. At the end of the day, it's not just my decision. There's coaches and doctors that really have the final say. I really like where I'm at and time will tell here."

What does that mean for you? We asked our staff these questions:

  • Does this news change your current ranking for Carson Wentz?
  • If drafting tonight, how are you treating him?
  • Has he moved to a different tier of quarterbacks?

Clayton Gray: Despite the cautious warnings from our Jene Bramel and Jason Wood, I had been treating Wentz as if there was little question he would start in Week 1. Now that he isn't even sure, I have serious doubts. Before those doubts, I had him comfortably grouped with the likes of Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, and Drew Brees.

Now, Wentz is below that group. I have him in a man-do-I-like-these-guys-but-their-health-is-worrisome tier with Andrew Luck. That tier is above the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger, but if I select Wentz or Luck, I'm definitely going to add a second quarterback quickly. If I get a player from the Stafford group, I'd be more comfortable waiting on getting another at the position.

David Dodds: I think this has to do with the Eagles paying a fortune for Nick Foles and not trying to look stupid. They are paying him $13.6 million this year (second-highest contract behind Fletcher Cox) on a team clearly making a run at winning the Super Bowl. If Foles never plays a snap in the regular season, and the Eagles come up a tad short, this is going to be questioned by a LOT of the fans. Have Nick Foles start Week 1, and people never bring this issue up.

I too was on the Wentz 100% will play all the games, but now think he sits out the opener.

Joe Bryant: I'm starting to lean to him missing as well. I think we see things like Antonio Brown under the microscope returning from injury.

People still remember Robert Griffin III when he was awesome and pushed out there hurt.

AND, as David said, you can see how it would play if Wentz were to go out early and be hurt. "If only we'd been able to sign a legit backup QB. You know, one with big game experience. I bet we would have been willing to pay him a lot..."

That would be awful.

Phil Alexander: Week 1 has been up in the air for Wentz all along, so this news shouldn't change how you value him heading into your draft. We saw Wentz's ceiling last year, and it was inside the top-2 fantasy quarterbacks. If you think what we saw in 2017 was sustainable (for a guy coming off a major knee injury), then his current ADP makes sense. Pairing Wentz with a replacement-level late-round quarterback for the first few games would still net you a mid-range QB1 by season's end.

The more important question may be whether or not it's smart to assume last year is Wentz's new norm. In our recent article on 10 Overvalued Quarterbacks, Footballguys staffer and resident Eagles maven, Jason Wood, cited Wentz as a regression candidate based on the Eagles historic 2017 red zone production. With Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Kirk Cousins typically available a round later (as well as a slew of viable late-round quarterback options), there are more reasons to avoid Wentz at his current asking price than reach for him.

Justin Howe: The thing is, Wentz isn't just fighting this injury timetable. He's also fighting math, which tells us some of his 2017 rates are likely to regress. His touchdowns, specifically, are about to decline without question. Last year, Wentz found the end zone at a league-high 7.50% clip, For reference's sake, that's a mark that the quartet of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees reached a combined 4 times over 60 seasons. So, that'll drop, and with it will drop his ceiling. In a year with as many as 18-22 candidates to dance on the QB1/2 line, an unexpectedly wild touchdown total - or lack thereof - will doom the values of several of those guys. Wentz won't be throwing another 2.64 per game, so he's likely to be one of them.

Wentz looks like a dynamic, long-term NFL starter, for sure. But I'm not ready to assume that his massive Year 2 leaps in efficiency are The Final Story.

In other words: we probably shouldn't approach Wentz with the mindset of, "Well, at least I'll have a lock-down top-five guy once he gets in there." Mine will be, "Well, looks like Wentz will blend in with that massive glob of 12-18 names that all project near-identically once he gets in there." Given that his ADP is likely to stay around the 10th or 11th round, he's entirely off my board.

Jason Wood: I'm not sure why today's news changes anyone's outlook. Jene has been very clear in the risks Wentz wouldn't be ready for Week 1. I've argued until I was blue in the face it made no sense to project him for 16 games played. And I wrote a detailed Player Spotlight highlighting not only the injury but the other risks (some of which Justin already talked about). Wentz, even if he played 16 games, was going to be hard pressed to justify a top-five pick at the position. Regression is inevitable.