Wentz in the spotlight at Senior Bowl

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(STATS) - Few players in the Senior Bowl will be dissected more than North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz this week.

Is he deserving of being taken in the first round of the NFL Draft? Should he be the first quarterback selected? Will the coaching staff of Wentz's North squad - Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys - be impressed enough to consider Wentz with the No. 4 overall pick?

The starting quarterback on the last two of five straight North Dakota State teams to win FCS national titles has to make the most of the spotlight in Mobile, Alabama - site of the nation's premier college all-star game Saturday.

"The Senior Bowl will tell us more, where he will be drafted, where he should be slotted," Dane Brugler, senior NFL Draft analyst for NFLDraftScout and CBS Sports, said Friday on 970 WDAY in Fargo.

"He doesn't have ideal experience coming from the FCS level, but everything else, he checks boxes - the physical tools, the intelligence, the character of who he is - it's all there."

That Wentz comes from the FCS level adds to the differing opinions. An FCS player hasn't been selected in the first round since Baltimore took quarterback Joe Flacco out of Delaware in 2008 (two picks behind Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of Tennessee State going to Arizona).

An excellent Senior Bowl week, when practices are analyzed by NFL executives, scouts and coaches as much as the game, could help Wentz strengthen his spot in the draft, to be held April 28-30 in Chicago.

"I think he'll be really successful at the new level," North Dakota State coach Chris Klieman said, "with his arm strength, his athleticism, how smart the kid is. He'll play on Sundays in a hurry."

At 6-foot-5, 231 pounds, Wentz has prototypical size for an NFL quarterback. He's confident, mobile and excellent at breaking down an opposing defense.

But Wentz missed nearly eight games as a senior following a wrist injury that required surgery and he played against only one FBS opponent in college - beating Iowa State in his first career start in 2014.

Brugler would like Wentz to tighten his throwing base to avoid oversetting in his delivery. He also feels Wentz has the habit of staring down targets and must improve his touch on downfield passes.

Eric Galko, the director of scouting of Optimum Scouting, described Wentz to STATS as: "A strong-armed and mobile passer, Wentz plays with NFL-level anticipation, footwork and pre-snap determinations. His velocity control and ball-placement are the major concerns that will need refinement in the NFL, but his flashes are certainly worth investing in for NFL teams coveting a franchise quarterback without system or character concerns."

Wentz will play on the North squad alongside his left tackle at North Dakota State, Joe Haeg. Northern Iowa cornerback Deiondre' Hall, Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew and Harvard offensive tackle Cole Toner are other FCS players on the team.

The South, coached by Gus Bradley and the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff, also has five FCS standouts: cornerbacks James Bradberry of Samford and Harlan Miller of Southeastern Louisiana, William & Mary free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, Southeast Missouri State wide receiver Paul McRoberts and Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence.