Zach Wilson NFL Draft 2021 Prospect Profile: Dual Threat Could Be Top-3 Pick
This is The Game Day’s Zach Wilson NFL Draft Prospect Profile. After you read our Zach Wilson Scouting Report, Marcus Mosher’s first 2021 NFL Mock Draft for Round 1 and see where Wilson is predicted to be selected.
Zach Wilson NFL Draft Prospect Profile
Zach Wilson: Measurables
- Height: 6-foot-3
- Weight: 210 lbs.
- Class in Final Season: Junior
Zach Wilson: Scouting Report
- Elite arm strength the ability to make every throw and fit in tight windows
- Quick release with good timing and anticipation
- Has athleticism and mobility to extend plays
- High football IQ and awareness to make the right play
- Faced weaker competition in FBS Independent teams
- Broke out as a Junior, but that was his only season with strong production
- Can be a bit inconsistent with his accuracy
- Needs some improvement with pocket presence
Zach Wilson NFL Outlook
Wilson burst onto the scene this past season, throwing for 3,692 yards (11.0 Y/A), 33 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has a cannon for an arm along with a quick release, which can be a lethal combination in the NFL. While he only has one year of strong production in a conference with weaker competition, Wilson possesses the necessary traits to become a franchise quarterback.
Wilson will enter the league as a polished prospect with the ability to start immediately in Week 1. His significant improvement in his junior season demonstrates that he has the work ethic and drive to improve as a player.
Wilson’s mobility allows him to turn broken plays into chunk yardage. He is also a weapon in the red zone, having rushed for 10 touchdowns in his final season at BYU. Wilson played in a scheme that emphasized motion and misdirection and ran the offense at a high level. He has the moxie and confidence required to be a franchise quarterback.
Zach Wilson NFL Comp
Matthew Stafford: Like Stafford, Wilson can make every NFL throw. Both quarterbacks are 6-foot-3, but Stafford was heavier as a prospect. They are also both vocal leaders with poise under pressure.
Wilson is a more mobile version of Stafford with less of a track record. Like Stafford at Georgia, Wilson was able to thrive at BYU despite the underwhelming supporting cast.
Wilson has a quick release, just like Stafford. Wilson had a better peak season, but Stafford had better overall production.
Zach Wilson NFL Team Fits
New York Jets
The Jets have a new head coach in Robert Saleh, who brings over Mike LaFleur, brother of Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur, as the new offensive coordinator.
The LaFleurs come from the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay coaching tree, which employs an offensive system that Wilson explicitly mentioned as a potential scheme fit. The Jets have Sam Darnold, but they could use him as trade bait if they become enamored with Wilson’s arm and mobility. Wilson would provide Saleh with the opportunity to start fresh with a new franchise quarterback in Year 1 of his rookie deal.
San Francisco 49ers
The Shanahan offense obviously puts San Francisco in play if they decide to make a change from Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, though this may take either Wilson falling or San Fran trading up for the BYU prospect.
New head coach Arthur Smith has experience in bringing out the best from mobile quarterbacks, helping Ryan Tannehill to back-to-back career years in Tennessee. It’s time for the Falcons to rebuild and move on from Matt Ryan. Wilson has the ability to step in as the starter from Day 1 and allow the team to release their veteran quarterback.
This is a good spot for Wilson’s development as a passer. He’ll get to throw to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. He’s a more polished passer than Trey Lance, so perhaps the Falcons will view the former as the better fit for their new-look offense.
New head coach Dan Campbell gets a chance to replace Stafford with a more mobile version at quarterback. Wilson has impressive arm strength, which will enable the Lions’ pass-catchers to continue to play with a quarterback who can make every throw, just like Stafford. The Lions can use the draft picks they acquired in the Stafford trade to move up to lock in Wilson as their new franchise quarterback.
Wilson can sit and develop behind Jared Goff for a year. He would get to work with new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, who helped guide Justin Herbert to a stellar rookie season as Los Angeles Chargers head coach.
He’ll also have two young weapons in tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift, plus whoever lands at wide receiver — if not a return from free-agent WR Kenny Golladay. This is the best fit for Wilson.
Zach Wilson NFL Draft Prediction
Round 1, Pick 3 (trade with Miami Dolphins): Detroit Lions
Wilson is generating buzz right now, with some pundits like our own Marcus Mosher projecting him to go as high as second overall to the New York Jets.
Wilson’s impressive breakout season and physical traits will likely push him to QB2 in this draft, meaning that the Lions will have to move up to acquire him.
The Lions are well-equipped for such a move, with the option to use the picks they acquired from the Stafford trade to move to Pick 3.
The Dolphins are a good fit for this trade because they already have a first-round sophomore quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa.
Drafting a first-round quarterback is the ideal start for a new regime, so new head coach Dan Campbell will be happy to have a new strong-armed franchise QB in Zach Wilson.
Zach Wilson NFL Draft Bets
BetMGM currently lists Zach Wilson at +3600 to be selected first overall. While this is obviously terrific value for a high-end quarterback prospect, it’s hard to see the Jaguars passing on Trevor Lawrence.
Even though we’ve seen surprise quarterback first overall selections in the past, like when the Browns selected Baker Mayfield in 2018, that was a draft with no clear-cut number-one. Lawrence has been considered the top QB in this class for the last two years. Add in the fact that there’s no combine this year and it’s hard to see Wilson taking over as the top pick.
This is the only draft prop available right now, but keep an eye out to see if there are any props that become available for Wilson to be selected within the Top 3.
This is a bet that could offer solid value because the Jets and Dolphins, who sit at pick two and three, each have a young, former first-round quarterback. I expect the Wilson hype to continue to push him up in this draft, forcing an interested team to trade up to acquire him.
Now that you’ve read our Zach Wilson Draft Prospect scouting report, stay tuned after the 2021 NFL Draft for his impact on betting lines, odds and tips for his likely NFL team.
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