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Carson Wentz continues proving doubters wrong

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The North Dakota State quarterback keeps checking off boxes with the measurables to be an NFL quarterback.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Remember last week when there was concern about whether Carson Wentz could handle a cold-weather climate in the NFL?

That red flag was raised by ESPN's Mel Kiper, despite the fact that Wentz is from North Dakota. Sure, the Bison play inside the temperate confines of the Fargodome, but Wentz should be more than accustomed to poor climates.

Before another weak NFL Draft narrative about small hands could be pushed on Wentz, his hands measured at 10 inches thumb to pinkie finger at the Combine. That's a full inch larger than California quarterback Jared Goff, Wentz's competition to be the first quarterback picked in the draft.

"I think it's something cool to talk about or whatever," Wentz told a crowd of reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday. "Gives (the media) something fun to write about. But I think it's just another measurement that they do here just because."

Indeed, the media has chosen to write about hand size plenty. You can't Google Goff's name now without "hand" being one of the first terms associated with his name. That's not the case for Wentz.

If you want cherry-pick Combine measurements, Wentz shares large-hand company with Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and even new Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway, another Hall of Fame player, explained why hand size is an issue for a quarterback.

"If you get a wet day or a sloppy day, that’s when hand size really matters because the balls are in such good shape when you get them," Elway said. "To me, when I look at hand size on a quarterback, it’s how well can you throw a wet ball? Usually, the bigger your hand is, the easier it is to throw it in tougher conditions."

So when you search for Wentz, things like "scouting report" and "stats" come up first. The hand size issue in the scouting check box has been marked off.

Now it will be up to Wentz to show those stats he generated at North Dakota State – an FCS school – aren't an issue. He started that process at the Senior Bowl, where he had a good week against top-level competition.

"To a lot of people (the Senior Bowl) showed I can handle that game speed," Wentz said. "Obviously there's still going to be a big jump going forward, but that was probably the big question everyone wants to know. 'Can he adjust. He was playing FCS ball. All these guys are FBS guys.' I think I went in there and proved that I could handle it."

Wentz did, checking off another one of those boxes. The next box to check – the biggest one out there – is whether he can be a franchise quarterback. For that, Wentz just needs to get picked in April, whether it's to a cold-weather city like Cleveland or to a domed team like Dallas.

"I want to go somewhere where they believe in myself to be that franchise quarterback whether right away or down the road," Wentz said. "That's what's important to me. I want to go in a good situation, get good coaching and just keep playing ball."