Mayock: Cowboys offer ideal situation for QB prospect Wentz

INDIANAPOLIS -- The perceived jockeying between North Dakota State's Carson Wentz and Cal's Jared Goff to be the first quarterback chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft has all kinds of narratives.

Wentz is the better athlete; Goff the more polished.

Wentz is bigger; Goff played at a higher level of competition.

Which will be more ready to play as a rookie is another, and NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock left no doubt about where he stands in that regard on Saturday during a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I'd love to see (Wentz) sit for a year. If I'm (the Dallas Cowboys) at (pick) No. 4 (overall), I'm sitting there kind of licking my lips because I've got a 36-year-old quarterback that hasn't finished a season in three years and you're probably not going to be at No. 4 again very soon. At least, you hope not if you're Dallas," Mayock said. "So you get an opportunity to kind of draft for the future, so I would much prefer looking at a guy that maybe I could groom for a year and play. I think that's the ideal situation for him.

"Now, if he had to go in and play this year, do I think he could take his lumps and do that? Yeah. But I think the healthiest situation for that kid in a franchise is to give him a year behind an established starter."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett agrees the time has come for the club to locate Tony Romo's eventual successor, but, of course, he refused to tie the need to the No. 4 overall pick. Cleveland's need for a quarterback is far more immediate than that of Dallas or the San Diego Chargers, who might also consider a first-round quarterback as a long-term apprentice behind Philip Rivers. But while Goff might be more of an impact performer than Wentz as a rookie, that doesn't necessarily mean the Browns won't think long-term with Wentz, as well.

"Even in Cleveland. If Cleveland took (Wentz)," Mayock said. "Go to Cleveland, spend a year learning the system, learning what you're doing and a year from now, you're the guy. I think that's healthy."

As long as Wentz doesn't go to the Browns, the chance that he won't get pressed into rookie service gets much stronger. Beyond San Diego and Dallas having established starters, San Francisco (No. 7 pick) could also conceivably sit Wentz for a year behind Colin Kaepernick, if he's still on the team, and subsequent teams that might be interested in a first-round quarterback but aren't necessarily in panic mode at the position, either.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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