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Wentz completes triple crown of NFL workouts

FARGO -- The 65 throws from Carson Wentz were in the books Thursday, March 24, and the players at North Dakota State's annual football Pro Day were finishing their testing when NFL analyst Ron Jaworski approached Cleveland Browns head coach Hue J...

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Carson Wentz runs through passing drills for scouts and coaches, including Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson, left, during pro day Thursday at the Fargodome. (Photo by Dave Wallis - Forum News Service)

FARGO - The 65 throws from Carson Wentz were in the books Thursday, March 24, and the players at North Dakota State's annual football Pro Day were finishing their testing when NFL analyst Ron Jaworski approached Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson and asked him his thoughts on how it went with Wentz. The response was short and sweet.

"Oh my God," Jackson said, according to Jaworski.

If those three words were any indication, Wentz's performance was another feather in a cap that is getting full of feathers. The former Bison quarterback put his talents on display in front of two major sports networks and a Fargodome full of professional scouts and coaches. About all that is left now are private workouts with NFL teams and the NFL Draft on April 28.

Senior Bowl? Check.

NFL Combine? Check.

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Thursday was the triple crown.

"There have been three big days throughout this process," Wentz said. "And it's been good to mark off all the boxes. It was fun out there."

The fun in this case was performing with some familiar faces. Wentz threw to four former Bison teammates: Luke Albers, Zach Vraa, Ryan Smith and Titus Mack. He wanted former tight end Andrew Bonnet to be part of the mix, but a minor hamstring ailment prevented Bonnet from running routes at full speed.

Albers and Vraa just finished their careers. Smith will be entering his third year in the Canadian Football League, and Mack worked out for two months with Wentz in Irvine, Calif.

"Just like old times," Wentz said. "Going out in the Fargodome and playing some catch and I enjoyed it. I thought it went well."

Wentz did most of the traditional NFL tests like the vertical jump and 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine last month in Indianapolis. So the throwing session on Thursday was more of an NDSU goodbye party than anything else. He was sharp, rarely being off target on short throws, out patterns and he hit Vraa and Smith on a couple of bombs perfectly in stride.

Jaworski certainly took note.

"He's a complete player," he said. "He's strong at every level of throwing the football: The short passing game, the intermediate passing game, and what I saw today is he's improved on his deep balls with more arc on the deep ball."

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Not every team was represented as scheduled because of weather. Flight delays out of Chicago were the main culprit thanks to the spring blizzard that hit a section of the Midwest. Ten teams didn't get to Fargo.

The Browns did, and they got the most attention at the dome since they were the only team to send their head coach. Plus, Cleveland has the No. 2 overall selection behind the Tennessee Titans, who drafted quarterback Marcus Mariota last year. Wentz said the Browns told him the workout went well and "see you down the road."

Whether that means the road in Cleveland or the road on an opposing sideline remains to be seen.

"Overall, hopefully they went away impressed, hope everyone did," Wentz said.

He's heading home to Bismarck for a couple of days to get away from it all with the rest of April set aside for selected NFL workouts.

"Two days to have a relaxing Easter with the family and to hit reset," Wentz said. "Throughout the process I have to stay ready to go."

That's because Organized Team Activity workouts for NFL teams normally begin a few days after the draft. An NDSU player getting his name mentioned during one of the three days of the NFL draft is nothing new.

The fact teams picking in the top 10 players have Wentz on their boards made this Pro Day one to remember for the Bison program.

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"It was cool, everyone watching not only me but watching the guys running routes," Wentz said. "It was a big day for all of us."

Related Topics: CARSON WENTZ
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