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2020 NFL Draft

Carson Wentz shows off big arm at Pro Day

Carson Wentz might have solidified his steady ascent up NFL Draft boards Thursday, as the North Dakota State quarterback showed off his big arm at the school's Pro Day.

"I thought it went pretty well, I don't think it was perfect and I want to be perfect, there were a few out there on the ground but that's kind of the nature of the beast some days," Wentz said, "But overall, I think it went well. I had fun and enjoyed it, the guys enjoyed it, so it was a good day."

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound signal-caller looked sharp in front of personnel from all 32 of the league's teams, tossing a combination of deep balls and shorter routes.

Here's the catch, though; because of bad weather — Winter Storm Selene is currently pummeling the upper Midwest — the only head coach able to make it to Fargo was Cleveland's Hue Jackson, who was joined by vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry and associate head coach Pep Hamilton.

In any case, Wentz put on a show of sorts for the Browns — who hold the second and 32nd picks in April's NFL Draft — and those across the country watching ESPN and the NFL Network's live broadcast of the event.

Wentz, who completed 63 of 65 passes, said, "I really wanted to just highlight I can throw the ball on the move, I can do some awkward things and still put the ball on target and I think we highlighted that today."

Mike Mayock, the NFL Network analyst, heaped praise on Wentz, saying he believes him to have upside and athleticism of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Carolina's Cam Newton.

"I really believe that," he said during the broadcast.

"Now, what I'm finding out while I'm here in Fargo is that everybody believes in this kid off the field. They believe in his work ethic. The quarterback coach told me he's going to be the first guy in the gym every day, the last guy to leave; he inhales tape, he does all of the pass protection work, and when you compare that to other college guys coming out of spread systems, even though he's a I-AA quarterback he's ahead of the curve from that perspective."

Mayock, who compared his arm strength to that of Baltimore's Joe Flacco, added: "He has all of the arm talent necessary. I had a couple of people tell me today from a toughness, from a game day perspective, from a competitive perspective he's (Chargers QB) Philip Rivers. (He's a) really nice guy off the field, but when you get to game day, watch out."

In the process, Wentz reaffirmed the notion that he's one of the best signal-callers in this year's NFL Draft class — much like his counterpart, California's Jared Goff, did so last week.

And like he did in Berkeley, Hamilton — who will work alongside Jackson in molding the Browns quarterbacks — doused Wentz's footballs in water and asked him to throw them in such a less-than-ideal state.

"I wasn't surprised, I wasn't sure if he was going to do it with me or not," Wentz said, laughing. "But I just had to get used to it, the first one obviously went right into the dirt and I got the feel for it and after that I thought it was all right."

Wentz also shrugged off the notion that he might struggle to adjust to the level of competition in the NFL after playing at the FCS level.

"I've done everything I can to eliminate those doubts, people are still going to say that. It is what it is, I can't control what happens. At the FCS level, I believe there's a ton of good football players. I think the biggest thing that's different is just the depth," he said.

"But other than that, I thought we played some great competition. I went out in Senior Bowl week and everyone saw what I did there. I always feel like I can play at a face pace or a high level and hopefully I put those doubters to rest."

It seemed that way Thursday.

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