Separating themselves from the rest of the quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will now try to stand out in hopes of being the No. 1 quarterback taken.
While they may be rivals in terms of who will be the headline quarterback of the 2016 NFL Draft, the competition between Carson Wentz and Jared Goff is more about each becoming sharper more than anything.
“Carson's a great player,” Goff said Thursday at the NFL Combine. “Me and Carson have been training together for six or seven weeks. He's a great player, a helluva quarterback and he's going to be really good wherever he goes as well.”
Goff was widely regarded as the top quarterback in this year’s draft during the college football regular season.
The Novato, Calif., native threw for 4,719 yards and 47 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
In the Golden Bears’ last three games of the season, Goff threw 13 touchdowns to zero interceptions.
But for all of the success that he had, there are two potential blemishes to his game.
The first being a frightening performance against Utah during the season in which he threw five interceptions.
“I think with everything that goes good or bad during a season, kind of use it as an opportunity,” Goff said of the performance. “That game went about as bad as it can go. I kind of use it as an opportunity to show that I can bounce back and I can have a little bit of resiliency to myself and to my teammates. To just everyone surrounding the program, kind of wanted to show that. Was able to bounce back a little bit. Didn't win the next game but played better. Was able to finish out the season pretty well, which I was happy about.”
His hand size, meanwhile, is nine inches, which aren’t the smallest among the quarterbacks in this year’s draft, but aren’t exactly the biggest either.
Some believe that could be a problem, especially in bad and cold weather games.
On the other side of the discussion, Wentz has seen his stock soar in the last few weeks after an impressive showing in the Football Championship Series National Championship Game followed by a strong Senior Bowl week.
He was projected by some to be at best a fringe first-round pick at best early on in the process. Now he could be the first quarterback taken.
“I think for me it's kind of what I expected going in to show what I'm capable of,” Wentz said of the Senior Bowl. “But I think to a lot of people it showed I can handle that game speed. Obviously there's still going to be a big jump going forward, but that was probably the big question everyone wants to know. Can he adjust? He was playing FCS ball. All these guys are FBS guys. I think I went in there and proved that I could handle it.”
Wentz went 20-3 as a starter for North Dakota State, helping the Bison win two national titles during his time as a starter.
But for all of the success he might have had, Wentz will continue to hear questions about his talent leading up to his first NFL action.
"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. There's a lot of talented individuals at the FCS level that can play,” Wentz said. “Especially a guy like Flacco coming in really right away as a rookie and winning some ballgames I think shows that that adjustment can be made by special players for sure.”