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July 08, 2016

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Carson Wentz

Eagles NFL
070816CarsonWentz Matt Rourke/AP

Carson Wentz is like a turbo-charged version of Blake Bortles.

Leading up to training camp, as we did last year, we'll be comparing each of the Eagles' rookies to current NFL players. We'll be leading it off, of course, with the No. 2 overall pick, Mr. Carson Wentz.

During the pre-draft process (and then thereafter), Wentz was compared to a wide assortment of current and former NFL quarterbacks, many of which are huge names. That list included guys like Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, and even Brett Favre.

Personally, I don't have some obscure name nobody has thought of yet, and really, I don't think there's a perfect comp for Wentz. The combination of his background, stature, and skill set are unique. However, the one common comp that I do think fits the best is Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

Like Wentz, Bortles was a late riser leading up to the draft, who was not thought of as a first-round pick when his final college season began. Bortles ended up being drafted third overall by the Jags in the 2014 draft, one spot behind where the Eagles snagged Wentz a few months ago.

When you compare the two players, Wentz's and Bortles' physical measurables are consistent, in that Wentz is a little better than Bortles in nearly every category across the board.

 MeasurableCarson Wentz Blake Bortles 
 Height 6'56'5 
 Weight 237232 
 Arm length 33 1/432 7/8 
 Hand size 109 3/8 
 10 yard dash 1.651.72 
 40 yard dash 4.774.93 
 Vertical jump 30 1/232 1/2 
 Broad jump 118115 
 3 cone drill 6.867.08 
 20 yard shuttle 4.154.21 
 Wonderlic40 28 

From a measurables standpoint, Wentz is an upgraded version of Bortles, like a next version of the iPhone.

Over his last two seasons at UCF, Bortles had a 22-5 record, winning a bowl game after each season, including an impressive victory over sixth-ranked Baylor in his college finale. Wentz, meanwhile, went 20-3 over his last two seasons, winning a pair of FCS National Championships, although obviously, he wasn't facing the same level of competition as Bortles.

Wentz probably has the stronger arm, but the area where I see the most similarity, in terms of style of play, is that both players will take shots down the field. All throughout OTAs and minicamp, Wentz was easily the most aggressive of the Eagles' three quarterbacks, throwing far more passes to the intermediate and deep sections of the field than Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. Bortles shares that same gunslinger mentality. 

Below is a list of every quarterback in the NFL who attempted at least 350 passes in 2015. We took their completions that traveled at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, and compared that with their total completions. We then ranked them in order of percentage of completions in which the pass itself traveled at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. Here are the results (data via ESPN), which Bortles coming in at fifth on the list:

QB Completions traveling 10+ yards past LOS Total completions % of completions traveling 10+ yards past LOS 
Carson Palmer 122 342 35.7% 
 Jameis Winston106 312 34.0% 
 Cam Newton90 296 30.4% 
 Marcus Mariota69 230 30% 
 Blake Bortles105 355 29.6% 
 Ryan Fitzpatrick94 335 28.1% 
 Brian Hoyer62 224 27.7% 
 Ben Roethlisberger83 319 26% 
 Andy Dalton66 255 25.9% 
 Tyrod Taylor62 242 25.6% 
 Ryan Tannehill86 363 23.7% 
 Derek Carr83 350 23.7% 
 Russell Wilson78 329 23.7% 
 Matt Ryan91 407 22.4% 
 Drew Brees90 428 21% 
 Aaron Rodgers71 347 20.5% 
 Jay Cutler62 311 19.9% 
 Kirk Cousins75 379 19.8% 
 Philip Rivers86 437 19.7% 
 Teddy Bridgewater57 292 19.5% 
 Tom Brady77 402 19.2% 
 Joe Flacco47 266 17.7% 
 Matthew Stafford70 398 17.6% 
 Sam Bradford60 346 17.3% 
 Eli Manning67 387 17.3% 
 Alex Smith53 307 17.3% 

Here's a Bortles highlight reel, in case you don't exactly catch your fair share of Jaguars games.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski