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Philadelphia Eagles draft Carson Wentz with No. 2 pick

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After engineering a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Browns for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday landed their quarterback of the future in North Dakota State's Carson Wentz.

Snatched up minutes after the Los Angeles Rams chose Cal's Jared Goff, Wentz was the benefactor of a pre-draft surge that saw the small-school passer shoot up draft boards from relative obscurity.

"I see everything. Arm strength. Accuracy. Toughness. Athletic ability. Smart. Great kid," one scout told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, with a second scout saying: "He's a genius, Wentz is. He could be really good. He's the best runner, he's the best athlete. He is off the charts."

Taller, heavier and with a faster 40 time than Goff, Wentz -- at 6-foot-5 and 237 pounds -- gives the Eagles a prototypical NFL signal-caller in the form of Ben Roethlisberger and Blake Bortles.

The Eagles have been criticized by some for giving up a bounty of picks for a quarterback after Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel both signed new contracts this offseason. Forget all that: If the Eagles hit on Wentz, they're set under center for the next decade.

Of course, if he flames out, plenty of jobs will be lost. Executive vice president Howie Roseman knows the inherent risk, but Wentz's potential was too much to pass up.

"One player can change your team," said Roseman.

"He's big, athletic and has a freaking cannon," another scout told McGinn. "Level of competition is the only thing. I'd sit him for a year and a half, two years. Then I got a real starter. He'll be shoved into the fire too quickly and it may crush him."

Quarterbacks taken second overall don't sit for long, but the Eagles could redshirt him even if Bradford winds up elsewhere in 2016. Daniel is seen by coach Doug Pederson as a future starter and capable of holding down the fort until Wentz is ready for action. In his favor, the Eagles are a nice landing spot for a young quarterback -- better, right now, than Cleveland.

The rookie will battle history along the way. Of the 69 first-round passers taken between 1984 and 2015, only two -- Delaware's Joe Flacco and Alcorn State's Steve McNair -- emerged from non-FBS schools. There's also the question of Wentz's breadth of experience: He started just seven games as a senior, completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 1,651 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. A mobile runner, Wentz also plowed his way for six scores on the ground.

"Wentz really blew us away at the combine when we met with him," one AFC executive told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein. "Talent is a big component, but these guys have to have intangibles if they are going to lead franchises and he's got them. I don't care where he played, he understands the game and it isn't too big for him."

The Eagles believe enough in Wentz to look beyond Bradford, who has yet to emerge as a reliable starter since he was taken No. 1 overall by the Rams in 2010. Philly can spin pretty words about wanting to keep Bradford around, but Wentz completely changes the trajectory of the franchise.

Wentz's progress -- beginning this season -- will serve as the measuring stick for Roseman's return to power. If the young passer succeeds and blooms into a star, nobody will care how much the Eagles gave up for a franchise arm. If he fails, there will be hell to pay in the City of Brotherly Love.

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