NFL News | Latest NFL Football News |

Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz: Who should Rams take with No. 1 draft pick?

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams sent shockwaves through the NFL by jumping from No. 15 in this month's draft all the way up to No. 1. Of course, this move didn't come without a price: The Rams sent the Titans two first-round picks, two second-rounders and two third-rounders over the next two drafts (in exchange for No. 1, No. 113 and No. 177 in this month's event). But the trade puts the Rams in position to (presumably) draft a quarterback to build around as the franchise returns to L.A.

It appears that two signal callers have separated themselves from the pack: Cal's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz. On Saturday night, the NFL Network broke down the biggest question heading into the 2016 draft with a special program, "Path to the Draft: Goff or Wentz?" But what do you think? Which of these two QBs should the Rams select at No. 1 overall?

I like Carson Wentz over Jared Goff long term, but Goff is a better fit right now. And Los Angeles could indeed be a QB away from being a playoff team -- the Rams have a good defense and a Pro Bowl RB in Todd Gurley. Goff has very good pocket presence -- he sees things quickly and has a quick release. But he does not have a top arm.

To be frank, though, I don't think either one of these QBs is an elite prospect. They should take Carson Wentz. He's bigger, more athletic, has a stronger arm and gained experience in an NFL system while at North Dakota State. He's proven to play his best in big moments, and he's done nothing but win his entire athletic career.

Wentz's toughness, competitiveness and football intelligence are off the charts. He's a better player than Blake Bortles was coming out of Central Florida. In my rankings -- which will be released on on Monday -- I have Carson Wentz one spot ahead of Jared Goff. But, if I were the Rams, I would go with Goff because of the fact the he was raised in California. He would be much more familiar with the difficulty of movement in Los Angeles, mainly traffic and the pace of living. Goff would have an easier time adapting to the high-intensity way of life in the L.A. area. Moving to California would be a culture shock for anybody who has lived their entire life in North Dakota. If this were still the St. Louis Rams, I would probably say Jared Goff because they would need to win more immediately. However, in Los Angeles, the Rams should have a honeymoon period that allows them to bring Carson Wentz along with more patience.

At the end of the day, I believe that Wentz has the potential to be a "face of the franchise" quarterback more than Goff. The Rams should take Jared Goff with the top pick. The Cal quarterback is the more polished and experienced player at the position. Goff enters the NFL with 1,500-plus pass attempts and 37 career college starts (compared to Wentz's 612 attempts and 23 college starts), which makes him better prepared to step into the lineup as a Day 1 starter.

From a physical standpoint, Goff doesn't have the big arm or prototypical dimensions of Wentz, but he displays better footwork and poise in the pocket. He plays with his eyes and feet connected, while exhibiting good poise under duress. Goff's ability to thrive within chaos sets him apart from others in the class and gives him the nod in this debate.

Considering Goff's outstanding touch, timing and anticipation as a passer, the Rams finally have a chance to field an explosive offense with the potential to attack on the ground or through the air. You don't blow a hole in two drafts -- as the L.A. Rams just did in moving up to No. 1 -- to acquire a quarterback who might need a year or two to develop. That's why the choice needs to be Jared Goff of Cal.

While Carson Wentz's offense at North Dakota State might have been more NFL-like, it's a mistake to lump Cal's "Bear Raid" offense in with other college spread offenses that translate poorly to the pros. Goff, with an experience edge over Wentz -- and having played against a much higher level of competition in the Pac-12 -- will be more ready to win games right off the bat. I'm thinking Carson Wentz. Unless the Rams view Jared Goff as a clearly superior quarterback to Wentz, I would go with the guy who has been under center more in his career if I were part of the Rams' brass. Not because Goff can't assimilate himself to pro sets outside of the spread and shotgun, but because the Rams' best player is tailback Todd Gurley, who often operates out of a single-back set. The key to the Rams making big plays downfield this season is having success with play action to Gurley, and that is something -- at least under center -- that Wentz is more equipped to carry out at this stage. I have had Jared Goff rated slightly higher than Carson Wentz throughout the run up to the draft. But when it comes to who should the Rams take with the No. 1 overall pick, I believe they should select Carson Wentz. To me, he would fit nicely with what Los Angeles wants to do on offense given head coach Jeff Fisher's background -- run the ball, hit big plays off of play action, and pair that philosophy with a stout defense already in place. Wentz's background at North Dakota State saw him handling line calls, adjustments and audibles in the run and pass game, and operating a lot of offense from under center, in the pistol and shot gun. His ability to read fronts and control the run game would be valuable.

As an added bonus, his athleticism and comfort running the ball will really come in handy. The possibility of his escaping out the backdoor will help tamp down pressure packages focused solely on stopping Pro Bowl RB Todd Gurley, and Wentz's sturdy 6-foot-5, 237-pound frame allows him a great chance to hold up well as a runner.

Finally, with the heavy focus and commitment to running the football, the plan would be for Wentz to be able to throw the ball against easier coverages and in more favorable situations. That would allow him to break into and acclimate to the league quicker, as well as develop without being hit so often early in his career when trying to pass.

This formula worked well for Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson as rookies. I think that Carson Wentz would find it agreeable, too.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) makes a deep catch as Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Kyzir White (44) trails on the play during an NFL football game , Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.