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2020 NFL Draft

QB Carson Wentz the center of attention at 2016 Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Alabama -- Carson Wentz had about five minutes to eat his dinner before it was time to experience all that comes with being one of the most prominent players at the Senior Bowl.

From one table to another, one camera to another, the North Dakota State quarterback made the rounds at Tuesday's media night. Concievably everything was questioned, from his background in Bismarck, N.D. to the relative obscurity he experienced playing for an FCS school, albeit a dominant one.

Overwhelming? Just a little bit, Wentz said, but it hasn't been enough to deter him during a vital three-month stretch leading into the 2016 NFL Draft.

"It all comes with the territory," Wentz said. "It is definitely a little bit surreal but at the end of the day it's all fun and part of the experience."

Wentz could become the first Senior Bowl quarterback to be a first-round pick since EJ Manuel in 2013. At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds and 10-inch hands -- a very important measurable for quarterbacks -- Wentz looks the part. On a rainy Tuesday, he continued to display why he's considered to be the top quarterback prospect at this week's practices.

Still, Wentz understands the questions about the perceived lack of competition he faced at North Dakota State, which has won five consecutive FCS titles, and whether or not he'll be prepared for the top of the top in the NFL.

All Wentz can do is shrug it off and prove the doubters wrong.

"To me, it was just playing football again," Wentz said. "Obviously, everyone's faster but so is the offense. Everything is happening faster and I always feel I've played at a fast pace and at a high level. For me, it was fun to read and react to the whole situation. It's a good experience and I'm ready to showcase I'm definitely ready to play at the next level."

Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage told reporters Monday that the buzz is building for Wentz, who missed eight games during his senior season because of a broken wrist but returned in time to win Most Outstanding Player in the FCS Championship. Savage said scouts have gone from thinking he was a second-round pick at the start of the 2015 season to not just a first-rounder, but a top 10 overall selection.

Though he was performing a bit under the radar at North Dakota State, Wentz played within the confines of a pro-style offense that threw a little bit of everything at him. In his breakout junior season, Wentz threw for 3,111 yards and 25 touchdowns and added 642 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. In seven starts this past season, he threw for 1,651 yards and scored a combined 23 touchdowns.

The only numbers that will be associated with Wentz over the next few months will be the spots in the draft where he's projected to land.

"I'm really just excited to hear my name wherever that may be," Wentz said. "It's going to be surreal no matter where it is."

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