On the final edition of The Ringer NFL Draft Podcast, Robert Mays spoke with the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah about this week’s most pressing draft matters, including the still-raging debate about who is the better pro prospect: Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, the quarterbacks who are this year’s presumptive top two picks. Here’s a transcript of that segment of the conversation, edited for length and clarity.
Robert Mays: [Wentz] was a third-rounder. Now he’s the number two pick in the draft, presumably. What makes him, in your mind, somebody you’d rather have than Goff?
Daniel Jeremiah: Well, I’ll look at a couple things. I mean, just the physical side of it: He’s bigger, he’s got a stronger arm in my opinion, he can move around, he can create things with his legs — you can even use him in the running game if you wanted to. … Every team that I’ve been with, they’ve always had me do the QBs. So I’m always trying to learn what are the keys there, and I talked to Steve Young one year and I said, “If you had to narrow down, what’s the one thing?” And he said, “It’s going into the huddle and saying, ‘Over my dead body will we lose this game.’” … So just kind of that hunger and that passion and that will that you have. And Carson Wentz in clutch moments? He’s been money.
R.M.: I’ve been on the record saying I like Goff more. … I love the subtle pocket mobility and just how he manipulates it and just the ability to throw guys open in a way that Wentz hasn’t been able to. But when you watch Wentz move around, there’s like a Cam Newton element to the way he runs. Which is a weird comparison, but I see it sometimes in some of those design keeps and everything else. With what’s worked recently, it’s not surprising that people would fall in love with him.
D.J.: I know one of the big knocks on Wentz has been, “Well, he doesn’t process as quickly.” Well, the game itself at that level is a little bit slower, so he hasn’t been forced to process it that quickly. The thing that gives me encouragement is that when I would go study the Senior Bowl game, even the week of practice, everything’s happening quicker, there’s more speed on the field. His body adjusted to that speed just fine. So that encourages me that he’s going to be able to do that. … I don’t buy the whole competition knock, the I-AA, and part of it [is] I’m biased. Look, I played at that level, I get it, so that’s kind of ingrained in me, but Jared Goff never beat a Top 25 team. Jared Goff’s 4 and 20 against teams that finished with a winning record. So, if we’re going to compare [Wentz] to somebody that’s had this unbelievable success playing at a higher level, then I would get more of that argument. But to me, [Goff’s] got, what, four more wins against winning I-A teams than Carson Wentz does?
This piece originally appeared in the April 28, 2016, edition of the Ringer newsletter.