Came and Wentz


Photo used with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Jared Goff scores a touchdown against the Washington Football Team on Oct. 11.

It’s the 2016 NFL draft and the Rams and Eagles have the first and second picks, respectively. The Rams take Jared Goff first, and with the second pick, the Eagles draft Carson Wentz. Both teams hope that their new quarterback will be the missing piece on a contending roster. Trading up didn’t come easy, both teams had to sacrifice multiple high draft picks to move up to select their future savior. Five seasons later let’s examine these two to determine if these two men are busts or just victims of circumstance.

From day one Goff was immediately thrown into an awkward situation. Not only were the Rams moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles, but they were coached by Jeff Fisher, who was notorious for being extremely defensive-minded and most weeks paid little to no attention to the offense. Goff entered the season as the third-string quarterback. When he saw the field, he was either sacked immediately or forced into making a poor throw. Luckily for Goff, Fisher was fired after a week 14 blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

For his sophomore season, the Rams hired Sean McVay, who immediately turned the league’s worst offense into the NFL’s best. Goff played a large role in the team’s success, throwing over 3,800 yards and 28 touchdowns. In 2018 Goff led the Rams to the Super Bowl after a spectacular regular season that saw him throw for nearly 4,700 yards and 32 touchdowns. However, In 2019 and 2020, Goff started declining rapidly, which had league sources starting to speculate that it was only a matter of time before he was either benched or traded. On Jan. 31 the Rams sent Goff first-round picks in 2021 and 2022 and a 2021 third-round pick for another former first overall pick, Matthew Stafford.

Wentz was also put in an interesting situation as new coach Doug Peterson had no professional head coaching experience. Like Goff, Wentz struggled early in his rookie season. However, unlike Goff, the Eagles gave Wentz the go-ahead week one and catered to his play style. It is Wentz’s second season that makes them stand out from any other quarterback in the NFL. Wentz was the clear favorite for MVP while leading the Eagles to a 10-2 record. It was the week 13 game against Goff and the Rams that ultimately changed his career trajectory.

Late in the game, Wentz suffered a season-ending ACL tear and to add insult to injury the Eagles backup Nick Foles stepped in and eventually led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory. Wentz did not return until week six of the following season, and for the next two seasons, Wentz constantly battled injuries and at times would visibly sulk on the bench in between drives. The Eagles still continued to publicly back Wentz as their quarterback, even after deciding to select quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round in the 2020 NFL draft. Wentz was officially benched in week 13 in favor of Hurts. In 12 starts he was sacked 50 times, which still ranked first, four weeks after taking his last snap. On Feb. 18, Wentz was shipped to Indianapolis for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 second-rounder. It’s truly tough to call either player a bust but in the NFL you’re only as good as your last game and both players still have plenty of time left to change their respective narratives with their new teams.