2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Zach Wilson Profile

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Welcome to the 2021 NFL Draft Zach Wilson Profile!

A true riser, one of college football’s elite, Wilson is the talk of the town these days. His name has come up in news recently, scouts are marveling over the young kid out of BYU. Some scouts have been reported as saying the junior quarterback has drawn better draft grades than presumed 1st overall pick, Trevor Lawrence.

That’s some high praise for a guy who just six months ago, was rated as low as potentially the 6th quarterback to come off the board. But it makes sense, Wilson has all the characteristics and the makeup to be an elite player at the next level.

Some sportsbooks now give Zach Wilson the second-best chances to be taken first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, though Lawrence is still the heavy favorite per the odds (-5000) from Sports Betting Dime.

During Wilson’s junior season at BYU, he set career highs all across the board. Passing yards, touchdowns, competition percentage, you just about name it and he set a career-high in it. The young star also took BYU to a bowl game, which he won over UCF by a score of 49-23.

His college career wasn’t the most elite. But in his junior season, the young man led a sub-par team to a bowl win and skyrocketed his stock. Now, the NFL draft is less than 90 days away, Wilson’s name will get called. By who? Nobody knows, but one thing’s for sure, Wilson will be a first-rounder, and Wilson will go in the top-15.

Now let’s dive into the 2021 NFL Draft Zach Wilson Profile and breakdown his career, highlights, stock, dynasty portfolio, and much more.

2021 NFL Draft Zach Wilson Profile

For more player profiles, rankings, big board, mock drafts and more check out the rest of our 2021 NFL Draft Coverage.

Measurables

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 210 LBs
  • Year: Junior (21 years old)
  • College: BYU, Brigham Young University, (Provo, Utah)

Measurables Breakdown

There is no proven science when it comes to height at the QB position in the NFL. Scouts praise hand size, frame, height, weight, they want just about everything to be elite level and big in size. They rip small players, such as legendary QB Drew Bress of the Saints.

But Wilson is no small man standing at a very modest 6’3″. To put the height in perspective, Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, and Derek Carr are all the same height as Wilson. So based on that, he shouldn’t have a problem in the height and measurable department.

In fact, Wilson’s height is super intriguing for me. Being that height, it gives Wilson an advantage as he can see the field over the offensive line. It lets him throw balls farther and have a lesser chance of having balls batted down by a defensive lineman.

Wilson has some meat on the bones as well, weighing in at 210 pounds. His big body helps him bully through defenders such as linebackers and safeties. The frame he possesses makes it incredibly difficult for him to be taken down on contact.

Even with such height and speed, Wilson still can flat out fly. He had several long runs in college even with his long thick frame. He ran a 4.84 forty-yard dash in college, which for a QB, is decently fast.

I love this kid’s heart, measurables, and intangibles at the position. Let’s move forward and breakdown his college production next to get a better look.

College Production

Production Breakdown

One thing that stands out about Wilson immediately is his competition percentage numbers. 67.6% in his career and 73.5 during the best season of his career. Those numbers are absurd, his career numbers alone are good enough to rank him 7th highest in the NFL in 2021.

His 2020 numbers, however, would smash every NFL percentage, 73.5 is good enough for first place in the entire NFL. Crazy. His completion percentage was also good enough to rank him 2nd among all college QBs.

During his junior season, you can see he was super careful with the football. Throwing only three interceptions to 33 touchdowns is quite impressive. Doing that while throwing 336 passes and completing 247 of them. His TD to INT ratio led the entire nation among QBs who threw 20 or more touchdowns.

It’s fair to say his junior season was more than impressive. He ranked 2nd in completion percentage, 3rd in passing yards, 3rd in passing yards per attempt, 3rd in passing touchdowns, and 2nd in interceptions among players who threw over 200 more passes.

College football and BYU will for sure miss Wilson. He wasn’t the most decorated or even the most skilled athlete, but he was a hell of a player for the program and the sport.

Strengths

Elite Level Arm Talent

Arguably one of the best arm talents in all of college football, Wilson proved just how phenomenal he is. His elite-level mechanics and superb arm strength make it easy for him to make NFL-caliber throws and fit balls in tight windows. His arm talent

Wilson’s quick flick of his wrist and smooth snap of his forearm allows him to rocket the ball down the field. A powerful arm is an understatement for the young man. Take a look at this phenomenal throw, a beautiful ball, and a quick accurate strike of the football from 60-yards out.

Wilson’s arm talent is phenomenal. That powerful arm and accuracy are uber impressive. What makes the BYU quarterback so desirable is his ability to scramble and throw on the run, along with his ability to throw crossbody with zero negative interference.

His big-time throws with the pocket collapsing or when rolling out during an RPO or play-action make him a sought-after prospect.

Accuracy/Touch With the Football

I can’t say this enough, Wilson’s accuracy and overall touch with the football are incredible. Arguably some of the best I’ve ever seen out of a college prospect. His smarts and big-time arm make it easy for him to throw receivers open. The ability to do that can’t be taught.

Players like Tom Brady made a career doing that. Touch and skill with the ball just can’t be taught.

Look at how beautiful that throw was. The big-time arm strength, the patience, and the accuracy are incredible and are all on full display in the clip above. What’s most impressive, again, is the touch. His ability to fit that ball just out of the corner’s reach is impressive.

Young players tend to struggle with placement and precision with the football, but not Wilson. His smarts and touch with the ball allow him to hit receivers in stride for extra yards or plain throw them open in otherwise closed gaps.

Smarts

People tend to talk about quarterbacks being “dumb” or “smart”, it’s a very loose term that gets thrown around quite often. When they refer to a QB as dumb, they usually are ripping poor throws, bad timing, or just bad mechanics and mistakes when making a throw. It mostly comes down to turnovers.

When he is smart, like Wilson, he shows timing, precision, accuracy, and the ability to keep the ball away from the defender’s hands. The fewer turnovers the better, but that goes unsaid. Wilson, having just three during his junior season is impressive.

What separates Wilson from a lot of young quarterbacks is his ability to read situations precisely. His intuition to move up into the pocket or roll out when it breaks down shows his ability to process situations quickly. Young players often struggle with reading the field and moving in the pocket fluently.

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Being able to feel the pressure without actually seeing it, it’s something that just can’t be taught at the position. If you look at the clips above you can see his fluent movements under pressure. He never panics or flops under pressure, he moves quickly and accurately reading the pressure with ease and intuition.

List of Strengths

  • Arm strength
  • Throws defenders open
  • Accurate
  • Deep ball ability
  • Quick feet
  • Decisive decision making
  • Quick mechanics
  • Soft passing touch
  • Ability to throw NFL caliber throws
  • Quick eye processing
  • Works through progressions
  • Immense feel for pressure
  • Good timing
  • Incredible athlete
  • Quick feet
  • Buys time as a runner and thrower
  • RPO ability
  • Toughness
  • Confident
  • Smarts
  • Upside
  • Ability to make athletic and big throws
  • Shows ability to throw off balance

Weaknesses

Competition Level

Playing at BYU, the competition level was subpar. Playing against the likes of Army, Navy, Troy, and other push-over teams. The only true competition that Wilson faced was two top-20 teams in the polls. Those teams were Coastal Carolina and Boise State.

He and the rest of the team demolished Boise State to the tune of 51 to 17. However, Coastal Carolina held Wilson and BYU to only 17 points during a 22-17 loss. Wilson struggled, having only 240 yards passing, one touchdown, and one interception. The only good note was that he completed 19 of 30 passes.

In three years as a starter, Wilson played five nationally ranked teams throughout his career. He went a measly 1-4 against the opponents, with two of the losses coming at the hands of perennial powerhouse Utah.

Lack of competition is a concern for the high-end draft prospect. Playing poorly to average against good teams has hurt his stock and upside slightly.

Frame and Injuries

In the beginning, I touched on Wilson’s measurables. His frame is a bit slender, his height outmatches his weight. His durability and availability were question’s throughout his college career.

He battled several injuries during his college days. Big hits caused Wilson to miss time. His ability to take hits from linebackers or collapsing defensive lineman was a bit sketchy at times. He had issues last year with his hand and throwing shoulder. Although, it is fair to say it has not affected him. In 2019 he had to have surgery on his thumb and right shoulder.

Wilson doesn’t possess many flaws but availability and durability are definitely two that need to be addressed.

List of weaknesses:

  • Injuries
  • Durability
  • Tends to throw wobbly passes under pressure
  • Competition level
  • Takes a lot of risks unnecessarily
  • Character concerns
  • 1-year wonder
  • Passing footwork needs improvement
  • Unorthodox throwing style

Roundup

Wilson is clearly an elite-level prospect. His footwork and ball skills are unmatched. He is likely the second-best if not first best prospect in the draft only questioned by Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. His soft touch, rocket arm, and unique arm slot techniques make him incredibly interesting as a prospect.

Footwork, scrambling, and athleticism are top-level traits for Wilson. He shows great instincts and smooth skills and techniques. As a prospect, Wilson is extremely ideal.

If he can improve suttle things in his game such as his throwing under pressure he will be a true five-star prospect.

Wilson in my mind shows all the tools and traits of an elite-level QB prospect. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to be the best QB in this draft in five years. I have him rated as my number two prospect right now behind Lawrence, but it’s close.

NFL Comparison

Robert Griffin III

Wilson gives me vibes of a young RG3. Flashes of greatness to say the least. People forget just how good Griffin once was. Rookie of the year, playoff contender, near MVP. A true force on the football field. One of the most electric players we have ever seen.

His ability to extend plays, run RPOs, Bootlegs, and stretches was truly one of a kind. It’s a shame the coaching staff and injuries ruined his career. Wilson reminds me a lot of RG3 the former number two overall draft pick. They both had fantastic scrambling ability paired with a willingness to extend plays, take hits, and breakdown defenders with lightning-quick reflexes and moves.

Wilson, just like Griffin, also had a quick, explosive, powerful arm. His arm strength paired with his unique touch for the ball gives vibes just like RG3. If Wilson can emulate what RG3 was in his first three years of his career, that would be fantastic. Before the injuries, he was on an upward trajectory to being a perennial pro bowler and potential hall of fame type player.

Ideal NFL Fits

New England Patriots

It’s no secret the Cam Newton experience didn’t work out. The Patriots flipped the whole playbook around to try and fit a scrambling, RPO, read and react type offense. Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels crafted an offense around Newton that could fit with Wilson.

With Newton now out the door, the Patriots are left wondering at QB. Head coach Bill Belichick’s legacy is at stake after letting hall of fame QB Tom Brady walk in free agency. He quickly went on to win the Super Bowl, shattering the legacy of Belichick. It also put some doubt on the whole “who’s more important, Bill or Brady.”

Now, the games begin for Belichick. The Patriots are in a spot where they have yet to be in the past 20 seasons, lost, and without a plan. That plan can potentially be Wilson. The Patriots were rumored to be interested in Lamar Jackson in the 2018 draft, now Wilson is on the board.

Wilson has a lot of tools Lamar Jackson has, he isn’t quite the runner but he is a much more polished passer. The offense the Patriots would’ve run with Jackson, they can run with Wilson. Rollouts, bootlegs, screens, bubbles, the whole kit, and kaboodle.

With Belichick’s legacy on the line, McDaniels rumored interest to move the offense into a Ravens-type system, and the Patriots in a vulnerable spot, Wilson could and should land with the Patriots. The fit makes a lot of sense here with the offense being tailored to a Newton/Wilson type of player.

Carolina Panthers

To start, the new general manager, Scott Fitterer, has made it clear that the Panthers will evaluate every position on the roster, including quarterback. All of season reports and rumors have come out of the Panthers camp reiterating that Teddy Bridgewater isn’t the answer.

But, Bridgewater can be a stop-gap giving Zach Wilson the potential time to learn and grow and see how everyday life in the NFL is like. The fit from an offensive scheme makes a lot of sense. Former LSU coordinator, Joe Brady remains as the team’s offensive coordinator.

The BYU product would fit well into Joe Brady’s offense that emphasizes high-probability throws and play-action passes off a zone-rushing attack.

With a boatload of weapons around the QB position, Wilson can slot in and fit nicely. Robbie Anderson, DJ Moore, and Christian McCaffrey headline the list of weapons that surround the position. Pairing Brady with Wilson and a talented surrounding cast, it’s easy to envision the young QB having success here. This might be the most favorable landing spot for him in the top 10 right now.

Draft Projection

New York Jets

Sam Darnold is rumored to be on the move. The Jets hold the second overall pick in the NFL draft this year and are clearly in need of a fresh start. The team has whiffed on Deshaun Watson all offseason so bringing in a young QB to revitalize the team makes a lot of sense.

With a new head coach and system along with coordinators, staffers, and players the Jets can use Wilson. Pairing him with Denzel Mims can be a dominant duo for a decade to help the Jets get back to relevance.

Projection

Future top-10 QB in the league


Dynasty Draft position

Top-15 draft pick, QB2, Low-End first-rounder


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