California Golden Bears, Carson Wentz, ESPN, football, Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams, National Football League, NFL, NFL Draft, North Dakota State Bison, Pro Bowl, Rams, Todd Gurley
OUR OPINION ON WHO OUR NFL TEAM, BACK IN SOCAL AFTER A 21-YEAR HIATUS, SHOULD CHOOSE
LOS ANGELES RAMS – Boy, that sounds good!
But aside from that,
The fact that they acquired the always-coveted top pick in the National Football League draft serves as yet another feather in their cap, enhancing what promises to be a triumphant return to the Southland after two decades.
Let’s take a look at the two quarterbacks that these Rams – who need a signal-caller – have to choose from in Chicago:
In one corner…
Carson Wentz making one of his many throws as North Dakota State’s quarterback. Photo courtesy of pressofatlanticcity.com
Carson Wentz, from North Dakota State
A two-year starter for Fargo’s Bison, he led his team to their fourth and fifth straight FCS (formerly Division 1-AA) National Championships while earning two academic All-American awards and being voted the FCS National Championship Game MVP twice.
His big highlight year was in 2014, when he threw for 3,111 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 642 yards, second on the team, and six scores.
He missed eight games last season due to a broken wrist, but he returned for the Football Championship Subdivision title game, rushed for two touchdowns, and threw for a third in the Bison’s win.
At 6′ 5″ and 237 pounds, NFL teams love his size and upside.
In the other corner…
Jared Goff during his last game for the California Golden Bears against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. Photo courtesy of isportsweb.com
Jared Goff, from California
A starter in Berkeley since the first game of his freshman year, he raised the Golden Bears from the Pac-12 dead and put them back the map, going from winning just one game in 2013 to a winning season – their first in four years – and a bowl berth in 2015, beating Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl and throwing for six touchdowns in the process.
His 12,195 yards and 96 touchdowns during his three years at Cal easily broke school records as that little cannon on top of Tightwad Hill – the hill overlooking Memorial Stadium where fans can see the game for free – that goes off after every score, overlooking Memorial Stadium, was certainly kept busy.
He also shattered Golden Bear single-season records for total offense (4,714 yards) and touchdown passes (43) in 2015.
And his 547 passing yards against Arizona State last year is likewise a school record.
Given all of Goff’s exploits, it surprised no one when he declared for the NFL Draft after this past season.
All right, here it is,
The name I think the Rams should call in Chicago a little after 5:00 pm on April 28th:
Both Wentz and Goff are great college QBs, with the strong arms needed to succeed at the next level, youth, and a big upside.
However, there’s one thing that serves as the deciding factor in my opinion:
LEVEL OF COMPETITION.
As outstanding as Wentz was in continuing North Dakota State’s New York Yankee-like dynasty, leading the Bison to their fourth and fifth straight FCS titles, the fact remains that those crowns came at the expense of Illinois State (2014) and Jacksonville State (2015).
Not to mention teams like Sam Houston State, Montana, and Missouri Valley Conference foes like Missouri State, South Dakota, Northern Iowa and Indiana State.
Sure, they’ve done well against Football Bowl Subdivision teams in non-conference matchups, but let’s face it:
Iowa State, Colorado State and Kansas strike fear in the hearts of absolutely no one.
Running back Todd Gurley, who will essentially be the first star of the newly resurrected Los Angeles Rams as he was the 10th overall pick last season and didn’t disappoint, rushing for over 1,100 yards, making the Pro Bowl, and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Photo courtesy of monsterislandnews.com
No disrespect intended against any of those programs, but…
The FCS is not the FBS.
And Wyoming and Minnesota – two more FBS teams that North Dakota State has beaten – are definitely not USC and especially Big Game rival Stanford.
Which is only a part of the notably tougher competition that Goff had to face as a Golden Bear for three years.
Which also means something that I think is significant:
Goff’s competition, because of their more advanced level, provided better preparation for the NFL that Wentz’s competition.
Meaning that Goff will have a smaller learning curve than Wentz, who will be a bit more of a prospect as he will have to learn the nuances of defenses that he didn’t necessarily have to deal with while a Bison, and face guys from monstrous behemoths like Alabama and Ohio State.
I just feel that Goff will be game-ready a little sooner than Wentz will.
That’s why though I wouldn’t mind if the North Dakota State star were picked, I hope that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell calls Goff’s name and presents him with a Rams’ #1 jersey and cap.
We’ll certainly see when Goodell walks out on the stage in front of the ESPN cameras and announces,
“With the first pick in the 2015 Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select…”
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who like his team is also coming home as he was a defensive back for USC from 1977-1980. Photo courtesy of ramblinfan.com