I must admit - as much as I hate the trade, I will be rooting like hell for Wentz (if indeed he is the choice) to succeed. I remember Eagles fans booing the Donovan McNabb choice (preferring Ricky Williams!) and Donovan went on to become the most successful QB in franchise history. Sure, we didn’t sell the farm for McNabb the way we’ve just done for Wentz, but that doesn’t make it Wentz’s fault.
My fear is that the entire backlash for the trade will fall on Wentz, and if he’s not an immediate savior, that Philly fans will savagely turn on him and turn him into the poster boy for everything wrong with the team. In that vein, I kinda hope that Bradford / Daniel take all of the snaps this year, and that Wentz comes into camp next year (once some of the vitriol has settled down) with a year’s experience learning Doug Pederson’s system, and has a chance to win the job for the 2017 season.
@on_edge: this is kind of an obvious statement to call a “theory” but I’m generally a believer that NFL quarterback prospects fall into three (very) broad categories. The first category is the guys who will make it absolutely anywhere, who would succeed with any non-awful team and any non-awful coach (Andrew Luck being a good example). There are very few of those guys, only one every couple of years. The third category is the guys who just aren’t good enough, whether that’s a lack of talent or inability to play the incredibly complex position of NFL quarterback (guys like Geno Smith or Blaine Gabbert, who have at no point shown that they are capable of leading an NFL offense). The middle category is the most interesting: guys who do have the necessary skills but need to land with the right coach in the right system to succeed.
Of the currently active QB’s, I think eight or nine fall into that first category - they would have made it no matter who drafted them" (remember, I’m not rating them on how good they are today, just looking at the body of their careers, was this guy a genuine bona-fide star QB that you could win a Super Bowl with): Brady, Brees, Eli, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, maybe even Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson. Watching all of them, you just know that they belong in the league, and any team with one of these guys is an instant contender as long as the supporting cast is remotely competent. Those are the guys who are true franchise QB’s.
A notch below that, you have a bunch of middle-class guys who are good enough to lead a good team with a good coach, but who are at least somewhat dependent on that environment around them being right: Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford types, past examples being guys like Matt Schaub, Jake Delhomme, Rich Gannon…put them on a really good team, or give them a coach that can play to their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, and they’ll be functional, maybe even very good. But put them on a bad team and they’ll flounder.
Teams get hurt when they’re desperate for QB help and convince themselves that a guy from that second group is really in the first group. There have been a handful of times - Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Blake Bortles being good examples - where I felt like the guy drafted might have been just barely good enough to work on a good team, but clearly was not good enough to turn around a team with holes all over the map.
Mark Sanchez also typifies this. His first couple of years in the league, on a team with a strong running game and the league’s best defense, he looked OK. Not great, but he took the Jets to a pair of AFC title games, and the story was that he was cool under pressure and could handle the spotlight with a good team around him. Then the rest of the Jets fell off and he turned into a complete punchline.
TL:DR, I don’t know if sitting the guy for a year matters all that much - I think guys that can play in the League are going to be fine if they have to start as rookies. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck types…even Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger…those guys were fine starting from Day One. The problem comes in when you take a guy who’s really a second-tier “just good enough to be in the League” QB and try to turn him into a franchise savior.