The 2016 FCS Championship game kicks off at 9 a.m. PT today, and there is one very specific reason for 49ers fans to watch: North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. North Dakota State will face Jacksonville State in this title game, two days before the FBS college playoff national title game. The game will broadcast on ESPN2, and will be available via live stream on WatchESPN
For 49ers fans, Wentz is an intriguing talent that will be on the radar for most quarterback-needy teams. Wentz suffered a broken wrist on October 17, that most figured would cost him the rest of the season. On Friday, it was announced that he will start the game. One game does not provide everything fans need to see, but if you have not had a chance to watch him, now is as good a time as any. We'll have more film breakdown in the offseason, but feel free to see what the FCS title game provides.
Greg Valerio put together his thoughts on Wentz. This thread is available for all aspects of the game, but obviously Wentz is the big name to watch.
QB Carson Wentz #11, 6'6 - 235 lbs, 4.87 40 - North Dakota State - (1st-2nd)
Carson Wentz is a former high school baseball and basketball player, as well as class Valedictorian bringing smarts and athleticism to an ideal quality QB frame with excellent height and weight (was 5'8" - 125 pounds as a high school freshman) with a strong canon for an arm, solid accuracy, and makes NFL level type throws. Wentz shows great movement in and out of the pocket (superb pocket presence), easily capable of standing tall in the pocket with solid fundamentals, mechanics, patience, vision, and toughness. He shows great feel and awareness in the pocket displaying impressive mobility for his size not wasting ground with excessive movements, but subtle choppy movements navigating efficiently through the pressure.
Continuously keeping his eyes downfield, Wentz moves his feet extremely well scanning and reading the entire field extending plays with his feet displaying great awareness quickly feeling the collapsing pressure around him. Scrambling with a purpose with last second escapability, Wentz maintains excellent vision making accurate throws on the run or successfully navigating lanes running to daylight with good pad level. Wentz has experience working under a pro-style passing offense (plenty work under center), where he showcases great accuracy, solid anticipation, good ball placement, and tremendous touch putting his receivers in excellent positions to win.
Wentz needs to improve decision making and awareness and take better care of the football, since he tries to force it at times leaving himself open for big hits during scrambles and has a tendency to be overly aggressive leading to some recklessness. At times, accuracy and velocity suffer due to throwing from a wide base; therefore, he will need to improve mechanics with consistency. He plays in a weaker division, so the level of competition will be a concern; however, Wentz does have an invite to the Senior Bowl where a good showing against the college elite will bode well for his development and draft stock. Wentz is also recovering from a broken bone in his throwing wrist, so medical will be highlighted. Nonetheless, Wentz is a solid pocket passer with sneaky athleticism for the next level, a true competitor playing with tremendous toughness, confidence, and leadership.
Wentz' season stats (six games): 114/179 with a 63.7% completion percentage, 1,454 yards, 16/2 touchdown to interception ratio, 54 rushes, 215 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per carry, and 4 rushing touchdowns.