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QB Zach Wilson, NYJ


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Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings 1.0

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4) Zach Wilson, QB

School: BYU | Year: Junior

Wilson has average height and a lean/narrow frame for the quarterback position. He's an excellent athlete and generates several wow plays in every game I've studied. Wilson has a dynamic throwing motion. He carries the ball low but once his hands separate, the ball comes out in a hurry with a high level of RPMs. He's extremely accurate from a variety of platforms and arm angles. He makes some incredible throws while fading away with both feet off the ground, and he can drive the ball to the boundary from the far hash. He also uses his quickness and creativity to buy time to let his targets uncover. He's effective on designed QB runs, but that part of his game will need to be limited at the next level due to his lack of size. My only real concern with Wilson is durability. He's already been through shoulder surgery (after his freshman season) and he doesn't have an ideal frame. If he can stay healthy, his upside is enormous.

 

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2021 NFL Draft: PFF's favorite draft prospect at each position

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QB ZACH WILSON, BYU (95.4 OVERALL GRADE IN 2020)

While it may not be particularly uncommon to have Wilson as QB2, we feel confident enough to have him as No. 2 overall on the draft board, as well.

Wilson not only possesses special arm strength, but he also fit more footballs into tight windows than anyone else in the draft class. He not only completed more passes than anyone else when targeting a receiver with less than a step of separation, but he also earned a 94.2 grade on such throws — higher than Joe Burrow’s grade last season and over 10 grading points higher than the next best quarterback in the '21 draft class. You can’t fake that, no matter the competition.

 

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BYU junior QB Zach Wilson declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. 

This was only a matter of time. As the 2020 season rolled along, Wilson continued to climb up QB rankings, even earning himself the QB2 title behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence for many analysts. Wilson is built fairly well for the position at 6-foot-3 and 210-pounds. He sports an absolute rocket for an arm, unlocked in part by his creativity when moving outside of the pocket. Wilson is going to draw comparisons to all sorts of scrambling QBs, from Patrick Mahomes to Johnny Manziel. Expect Wilson to be off the board very, very early come spring. 

SOURCE: Zach Wilson on Twitter

Jan 1, 2021, 5:14 PM ET


 

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BYU junior QB Zach Wilson completed 26-of-34 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns while rushing five times for 12 yards and two touchdowns in Tuesday's 49-23 win over UCF in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl. 

Wilson took the foot off the pedal in the second half, but posted an absolutely electric first half against UCF. Through the first two quarters, Wilson (6'3/210) scored all five of his touchdowns, punching in two of them with some daring rushes from the red zone. Wilson, of course, dazzled with his arm strength, too. His third passing touchdown of the day was a laser beam down the right sideline that fell perfectly out in front of his wide receiver against tight coverage. With Ohio State QB Justin Fields struggling last weekend and Wilson finishing his year with a game like this, the battle for QB2 in the 2021 class is sure getting a lot hotter. Wilson finishes the season with 43 total touchdowns. 

Dec 22, 2020, 10:37 PM ET

 


 

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According to Pro Football Focus, BYU junior QB Zach Wilson's 154.2 passer rating outside the pocket is the best in the country. 

Making throws from a clean pocket is one thing. Extending plays and making throws from a moving platform is another, and nobody is doing that better than Wilson (6'3/210) right now. Injuries hampered Wilson's sophomore campaign in 2019, but he has come back in full force this year, proving himself as one of the most electric playmakers in the country. Not only does Wilson have the mobility and creativity to function outside the pocket, but he has a cannon attached to his right shoulder and ain't afraid to use it. Expect Wilson to have another strong, exciting performance against UTSA on Saturday. 

SOURCE: PFF College on Twitter

Oct 8, 2020, 10:28 AM ET


 

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Pro Football Focus graded BYU junior QB Zach Wilson as the best QB in Week 5. 

Wilson (6'3/210) went 24-of-26 for 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns against LA Tech on Friday. Yes, Wilson threw 26 passes and finished with just as many incompletions as touchdowns. For any quarterback on any number of attempts, that is quite the feat, but doing so on almost 30 attempts is some outrageous Matrix-level play. Wilson has been on a tear all year and this was his second game in a row with at least 300 passing yards. Next week's game against UTSA should also be a breeze for Wilson. 

SOURCE: PFF College on Twitter

Oct 4, 2020, 2:30 PM ET

 

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2 hours ago, Zyphros said:

As someone who doesn't know a lick of how to judge a QB, Zach Wilson looks smooth and clean as hell. He's my favorite QB this year. 

I'd like to see more tape of how he does under pressure. 

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On 1/28/2021 at 4:32 PM, Zyphros said:

As someone who doesn't know a lick of how to judge a QB, Zach Wilson looks smooth and clean as hell. He's my favorite QB this year. 

He jumps out at me on tape. It does look like he is trying to throw his arm out of socket when he is whipping the ball around the field. Very interesting prospect. 

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On 1/28/2021 at 2:32 PM, Zyphros said:

As someone who doesn't know a lick of how to judge a QB, Zach Wilson looks smooth and clean as hell. He's my favorite QB this year. 

I think the last QB I attached myself to is Josh Rosen so that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. Just love the way he looks throwing the ball. 

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According to NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller, there is at least one team that has BYU QB Zach Wilson as the top signal-caller on its board. 

Given the praise that has been heaped upon Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, him not being atop every draft board comes off as a bit of a surprise. However, in a conversation with Miller, and unnamed college scouting director compared Wilson to Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. "What he does as a thrower, and as a runner, is exactly where we are as a league right now," the scouting director told Miller. "He throws some of those 50/50 balls with his shoulders square to the defense after running around in the pocket and I’m seeing Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech all over again." Wilson made noticeable strides throughout his three seasons as BYU's starter, and he's considered to be a lock to go early on Day 1 of this spring's draft. Lawrence is expected to be Jacksonville's choice with the top overall pick. 

RELATED: 

Trevor Lawrence

SOURCE: The Draft Scout 

Feb 17, 2021, 2:55 PM ET

 

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Lots of folks coming out that have him as their #1 QB in fantasy circles and comps to Patrick Mahomes now. I don't believe it's outlandish, he makes some crazy throws on the move like Mahomes does. But it does seem NFL Draft smoke screen esque. Keep in mind Mahomes as a prospect wasn't viewed as the #1 either. He went #10 and sat a year behind Alex Smith. It did him wonders. If the hype gets out of control for Zach Wilson and he is a top3 pick, he's likely to be expected to start right away. He needs roughly the same situation that Mahomes had in order for that comp to be complete. I don't think he's ready to start immediately. But the elevation of QB's in the actual NFL draft might force the hand. 

I saw him mocked to Atlanta and that would seem absolutely perfect in my mind. Sit behind Matt Ryan for a year, cut Ryan after 2021 (if the kid is ready) and move on.

Here's Ryan's contract, which seems like it would all line up https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/matt-ryan-3983/

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38 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

Lots of folks coming out that have him as their #1 QB in fantasy circles and comps to Patrick Mahomes now. I don't believe it's outlandish, he makes some crazy throws on the move like Mahomes does. But it does seem NFL Draft smoke screen esque. Keep in mind Mahomes as a prospect wasn't viewed as the #1 either. He went #10 and sat a year behind Alex Smith. It did him wonders. If the hype gets out of control for Zach Wilson and he is a top3 pick, he's likely to be expected to start right away. He needs roughly the same situation that Mahomes had in order for that comp to be complete. I don't think he's ready to start immediately. But the elevation of QB's in the actual NFL draft might force the hand. 

I saw him mocked to Atlanta and that would seem absolutely perfect in my mind. Sit behind Matt Ryan for a year, cut Ryan after 2021 (if the kid is ready) and move on.

Here's Ryan's contract, which seems like it would all line up https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/matt-ryan-3983/

It is outlandish. Mahomes is a unicorn. But Wilson being a potential top 3 pick is also not crazy.

There's a good argument Wilson performed better in 2020 than Lawrence and Fields, but there is no comparison in years prior. I think the Wilson v Fields argument is an interesting one, but Wilson v Lawrence is absurd. 

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31 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

It is outlandish. Mahomes is a unicorn. But Wilson being a potential top 3 pick is also not crazy.

There's a good argument Wilson performed better in 2020 than Lawrence and Fields, but there is no comparison in years prior. I think the Wilson v Fields argument is an interesting one, but Wilson v Lawrence is absurd. 

Mahomes is a unicorn but I think more goes into that than just Mahomes talent.  He landed in the absolute best place to fulfill his potential.  I know a bunch of Bears fans bitter that they passed Mahomes for Trubisky but do you think Mahomes is record setting and the unicorn he is today if he went to Chicago?  I think he is still very good but I don't think he is the unicorn he is today.  Situation matters and Mahomes hit the lottery in a lot of ways.  

 

Please don't take this as I am saying Wilson is as good as Mahomes.  I am just pointing out that Mahomes has had a bit of luck to get to where he is.  If Wilson goes to a team to maximize his strengths he has a lot of similar traits to Mahomes - maybe not to that extent - but similar nonetheless.  

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5 minutes ago, Gally said:

Mahomes is a unicorn but I think more goes into that than just Mahomes talent.  He landed in the absolute best place to fulfill his potential.  I know a bunch of Bears fans bitter that they passed Mahomes for Trubisky but do you think Mahomes is record setting and the unicorn he is today if he went to Chicago?  I think he is still very good but I don't think he is the unicorn he is today.  Situation matters and Mahomes hit the lottery in a lot of ways.  

 

Please don't take this as I am saying Wilson is as good as Mahomes.  I am just pointing out that Mahomes has had a bit of luck to get to where he is.  If Wilson goes to a team to maximize his strengths he has a lot of similar traits to Mahomes - maybe not to that extent - but similar nonetheless.  

completely agree.....many teams passed on him and he landed in the perfect place....talent is part of the puzzle but development is just as big....no shot Mahomes is the player he is in Chicago or NYJ

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30 minutes ago, Gally said:

Mahomes is a unicorn but I think more goes into that than just Mahomes talent.  He landed in the absolute best place to fulfill his potential.  I know a bunch of Bears fans bitter that they passed Mahomes for Trubisky but do you think Mahomes is record setting and the unicorn he is today if he went to Chicago?  I think he is still very good but I don't think he is the unicorn he is today.  Situation matters and Mahomes hit the lottery in a lot of ways.  

 

Please don't take this as I am saying Wilson is as good as Mahomes.  I am just pointing out that Mahomes has had a bit of luck to get to where he is.  If Wilson goes to a team to maximize his strengths he has a lot of similar traits to Mahomes - maybe not to that extent - but similar nonetheless.  

Browns fans commonly say the same, but the reality is similar as the Bears hypothetical. Had Mahomes come here he'd have been infused with Hue Jackson's cancer and who knows what he'd be now.

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Lawrence is and will be better. See his QB rating -- or PFF grade -- against the blitz. It's astounding. This guy picks up blitzes coming out of nowhere and gets rid of the ball instantaneously. There really is no debate. I read a great article about Wilson and his incredibly high rate of play action this year (think when Jared Goff and Mitch Trubisky use play action and are successful). The article sort of was getting at that he might be a little bit of a system creature in that respect, and that in the pro game, you can't run play action on nearly 70 percent of your passes like Wilson did this year.

I don't even think the debate is close, and I think history will bear that out, though one never knows, do they?

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This is bs rumors season leading up to the draft. Trying to drum up trade interest or smokescreens or both.  Everybody has Lawrence as the man. Wilson has potential to be very good as do a few other qbs. He should go to the Jets or Falcons I think. He might have some of the physical skills of Mahomes but that’s not the main reason Mahomes is MAHOMES. It’s his mentality and quick thinking. 

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In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. projected the Atlanta Falcons to select BYU QB Zach Wilson via a trade with the Jets for the No. 2 pick

Kiper sees shades of the 2017 trade between the 49ers and Bears which bumped Chicago to No. 2 and kicked off the Mitch Trubisky Era in the Windy City. The Falcons currently own the No. 4 pick for April's draft. In his mock, Kiper writes that Wilson would "help sort the future under new coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot." The analyst also tosses out OSU QB Justin Fields as a possible option for the Falcons. In all, Kiper has five quarterbacks -- usual suspects Trevor Lawrence, Wilson, Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones -- drafted in the top 10 picks.

SOURCE: ESPN Plus

Feb 25, 2021, 12:21 PM ET

 

 

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NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms ranked BYU QB Zach Wilson as the No. 1 signal-caller in the 2021 class, ahead of Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.

We'll give him this: Simms is certainly stepping out onto a limb. Lawrence has been viewed as an eventual and inevitable QB1 dating back to his freshman year at Clemson. His demotion is not the only surprise in Simms' midweek rankings reveal. He also stands out for his low rankings of OSU QB Justin Fields (QB5) and NDSU QB Trey Lance (QB6), while Kellen Mond enters the fray in as a surprise QB4 ahead of the aforementioned pair. Simms is not the first analyst to throw a little cold water on Fields -- if you'll recall, ESPN's Matt Miller had him ranked in the 20's on his big board prior to the 2020 campaign -- but it's going to take a lot of searching to find another analyst bold enough to drop Lawrence out of the pilot's seat in this position group. 

SOURCE: Chris Simms on Twitter

Mar 3, 2021, 12:12 PM ET

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 12:38 PM, Gally said:

Mahomes is a unicorn but I think more goes into that than just Mahomes talent.  He landed in the absolute best place to fulfill his potential.  I know a bunch of Bears fans bitter that they passed Mahomes for Trubisky but do you think Mahomes is record setting and the unicorn he is today if he went to Chicago?  I think he is still very good but I don't think he is the unicorn he is today.  Situation matters and Mahomes hit the lottery in a lot of ways.  

 

Please don't take this as I am saying Wilson is as good as Mahomes.  I am just pointing out that Mahomes has had a bit of luck to get to where he is.  If Wilson goes to a team to maximize his strengths he has a lot of similar traits to Mahomes - maybe not to that extent - but similar nonetheless.  

Because of this, I actually think the best place for Wilson would be Carolina. He would have Matt Ruhle as the coach and Joe Brady as his OC. And he could sit behind Bridgewater for a year. 

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