Philadelphia Eagles fans are about to become big fans over former Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan.
McCloughan, who was also instrumental in the recent success of the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, joined ESPN's Adam Schefter on his "Know Them From Adam" podcast. During the appearance, he said that he would prefer to build his team with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz than Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott:
"First of all, they both had really good rookie years, there's no doubt about it. And for a rookie quarterback to come out and produce, it's very, very tough. Dak's got the offensive line and the running-game, big time, which is not his fault, but it's there for him and it makes his life a lot easier. Carson does a lot of things on his own, and not knocking Philly whatsoever. But it's a different talent level on those offenses. And I just think with Carson - Dak would be fine too, don't get me wrong - but also you could put some quarterbacks behind that offensive line and that running-game and you're going to have success."
Shortly after signing with the Eagles this offseason, LeGarrette Blount raved about Wentz's physical makeup and said that he was "probably the best quarterback in his draft class," which, of course, included Prescott. Alshon Jeffery must also feel the same way, because he reportedly chose to sign a one-year, prove-it deal with the Eagles, rather than accepting a long-term deal to join Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings.
McCloughan was later asked which "young quarterback" in the NFL he would pick to build his team around, and again gave an answer that was pleasing to Eagles fans:
"That's a good question. I'd probably go with Wentz. With the size - I like those guys. He reminds me of [Ben] Roethlisberger, the big, thick-boned guy, whose got the strong arm, that's tough enough to stay in there...and plays and takes hits and it doesn't affect him."
McCloughan went on to say that the Redskins were among the teams that had Wentz ranked higher on their 2016 NFL Draft boards than Goff, citing specifically that he believed that Wentz, because of his size, had a better chance to hold up over a 16-game season than Goff.
Of course, had you polled league executives at the time, more probably would have gone with Wentz than Goff. After their respective rookie seasons, when neither had great offensive talent to work with, even more probably would have preferred to have Wentz than Goff. But McCloughan didn't give this answer simply in response to the debate about Wentz vs. Goff. He gave it when talking about any "young quarterback" in the league.
Young is a vague term. Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are all still "young" quarterbacks, but they are more established in the league. Still, McCloughan is seemingly suggesting that he would prefer to have Wentz than Prescott, Goff, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.
Right now, most executives probably wouldn't take Wentz over Carr. Mariota and Winston *probably* would have gone above Wentz if they were in the same draft class, but neither comes without questions marks. It's certainly fair to wonder if Mariota, who hasn't played 16 games in either of his first two seasons, will hold up over the long run, despite his great makeup and talent. Carr may ultimately fall into a similar boat in the mind of McCloughan, after he tore his fibula in Week 16 of last season. Winston has a similar build to Roethlisberger and is extremely smart on the field, but he does turn the ball over more than you would like and had character concerns during his college tenure at Florida State.
Whether you agree with taking Wentz over every young quarterback in the league or not, this should remind you how highly the league thinks of Wentz, both as a person and as a player. While not all executives are as high on Wentz as McCloughan is, it's fair to say that there's a consensus around the league that he's a quarterback you can build your franchise around.