Eagles Select QB Carson Wentz With the No. 2 Overall Pick

For the first time in 17 years, the Eagles on Thursday made a quarterback their first-round pick.

In a move that's been predetermined since their trade with the Browns last week, the Eagles used the second pick in the draft to select North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.

The Rams and Eagles moved into the top two spots in the draft to take quarterbacks, and it was considered a lock that the Rams would take Cal quarterback Jared Goff, leaving the Eagles with Wentz.

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Just like Donovan McNabb was Andy Reid's first draft pick as Eagles head coach in 1999, Wentz is the first pick of Doug Pederson, who started ahead of McNabb at the start of 1999 and later coached for Reid in both Philly and Kansas City.

The second pick is the highest any Football Championship Subdivision - formerly Division I-AA - quarterback or player has ever gone.

Wentz is only the fifth quarterback the Eagles have ever taken in the first round and only the second in the last 44 years.

The others are Davey O'Brien out of Texas Christian in 1939, Frank Tripucka out of Notre Dame in 1949, John Reaves out of Florida in 1972 and McNabb out of Syracuse in 1999.

Wentz is also only the fifth quarterback drafted with the No. 2 pick in the last 43 years, following Rick Mirer in 1993, Ryan Leaf in 1988, McNabb in 1999, Robert Griffin III in 2012 and Marcus Mariota in 2015.

This is only the third time since 1950 the Eagles have had a top-two pick. They took Hall of Famer Bob Brown in 1964 and McNabb in 1999.

The Eagles, desperate for a young, potential franchise quarterback, started the offseason with the No. 13 pick in the first round but moved up to No. 8 on March 9 thanks to a trade with the Dolphins involving Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso. They then shipped that pick, and others, to the Browns on April 20 in exchange for two picks, including No. 2 overall.

That created the unusual situation where the Eagles planned to take a quarterback at No. 2 without knowing whether the Rams at No. 1 would take Wentz or Goff.

Which meant Rams coach Jeff Fisher, Buddy Ryan's defensive coordinator with the Eagles in 1989 and 1990, was essentially determining who the Eagles' next quarterback of the future would be.

At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Wentz has classic NFL quarterback size. He was productive in college, winning two FCS national championships, completing 64 percent of his passes and finishing with 45 touchdown passes and just 14 interceptions.

The biggest question with Wentz is how he'll transition from what was until recently known as Division I-AA football to the NFL.

But North Dakota State ran a complex offense, and the Eagles believe Wentz's aptitude for quickly picking up complex schemes and concepts will serve him well on the NFL level.

"At North Dakota State, we were pro style, under center quite a bit, huddle up," Wentz said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Over the last couple years we got really multiple with that. We ended up doing a lot of different stuff out of the gun. Still stayed true to our power football, play-action pass. But then there was more of me running the ball a little bit as well. I think that will help me tremendously going forward.

"I was in charge of a lot at the line of scrimmage, changing plays, run checks, all sorts of fun stuff with that. But obviously there's going to be a jump. The NFL playbook is probably twice the size of what we did, or more. I'm excited for that. I'm a student of the game. I love learning football so I'm excited to learn that."

Wentz enters a muddled Eagles quarterback picture.

This offseason, the Eagles signed incumbent Sam Bradford to a two-year, $35 million deal and added backup Chase Daniel, who played for Pederson in K.C., before trading up from No. 13 to No. 2.

After the Eagles moved to No. 2, Bradford demanded a trade and has been boycotting voluntary offseason team workouts. Since the Eagles have been adamant about not playing their rookie right away, it leaves the very real possibility that Daniel - who has two NFL starts to his credit - will be the opening-day starter.

The possibility also remains that the Eagles could trade Bradford, although it doesn't appear likely they could land a premium draft pick for the 28-year-old former No. 1 pick.

Wentz said whether he starts out as a team's No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3, his approach will be the same.

"My preparation is going to be the same no matter where I go, no matter what situation I'm in," he said.

"You've got to go in there and prove yourself. You've got to earn your respect. No matter if you go into a situation with a Hall of Famer in front of you or a situation with nobody in front of you and it's supposedly given to you.

"You've got to earn every bit of it. That's how I'm going handle that situation."

Wentz is only the sixth player the Eagles have taken with a top-10 pick since 1988.

There have been four Division I-AA quarterbacks taken in the first round over the years - Doug Williams was No. 17 out of Grambling in 1978, Phil Simms was the seventh pick out of Morehead State in 1979, Steve McNair was No. 3 out of Alcorn State in 1995 and Joe Flacco was the 18th pick from Delaware in 2008.

All four appeared in at least one Super Bowl, and all but McNair won a Super Bowl.

"I think the success of guys like Joe Flacco or Tony Romo or ... the list goes on, whether it's quarterbacks or other position players," Wentz said.

"There's a lot of talented individuals at the FCS level that can play. Especially a guy like Flacco coming in really right away as a rookie and winning some ball games I think shows that that adjustment can be made by special players for sure."

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