It's hard to project what a new player will do in a new system statistically with new teammates, but ESPN NFL Analyst Mike Clay does a great job coming pretty darn close when projecting those statistics ahead of the season.
On May 12, Clay released his projections for every offensive and defensive player across the NFL, and naturally all eyes in the Colts' fan base jumped to the season-long projections of Carson Wentz, who steps in as the next Colts' franchise QB.
If Clay's projections are close again this year, the Colts should be pretty happy with what Wentz will do.
In Clay's projections for the new Colts' QB, he has the former No. 2 overall pick and NFL MVP finalist putting up similar numbers to his 2017 season, in which he emerged as a star in the NFL.
Here are Clay's projected numbers for Wentz in 2021: 314-for-498, 23 passing touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 3,467 yards, and 55 carries for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
Those projections would have Wentz put up 238 fantasy points, good for the 27th overall QB in fantasy.
One shocking number in Clay's projections for Wentz is that the new Colts' QB will be sacked 43 times — seven sacks less than his disastrous 2020 season that saw him benched late in the season and ultimately traded. It is hard to see the Colts with that offensive line allowing 43 sacks, considering Wentz's mobility and ability to extend plays and slide around in the pocket, which is a significant upgrade in that department over Philip Rivers, who was sacked just 19 times in 2020.
It's worth noting in Clay's projections that the Colts will rush for more than 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns, winning roughly nine games in 2021 against the 15th toughest schedule in football.
While those numbers might not be eye-popping for Wentz, they compare favorably to Rivers' stats from 2020 (4,169 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 68% completion percentage). Should Wentz put up numbers similar to Rivers, the Colts should once again be in the AFC South division title mix and earn another playoff berth, which should be more than adequate for the Colts.
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