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2021 NFL Draft Spotlight: BYU QB Zach Wilson


Perhaps no single player has improved their NFL Draft stock more in one year than Brigham Young’s quarterback Zach Wilson.  Wilson went from a relative unknown in 2019 to a full fledged NFL first round selection by the time the Cougars wrapped up their 2020 campaign.  In all likelihood, Wilson will be picked by the New York Jets with the second overall pick on Thursday night.

Will the 21-year old gunslinger find success at the NFL level?  The Jets will probably expect Wilson to start right away so it will be trial by fire for him from the get go in New York.  Here is a closer look at Wilson’s collegiate career as well as some highlights of his NFL scouting report.

Wilson’s College Achievements at BYU

  • Had a phenomenal 2020 season and ended up placing 8th in the Heisman Trophy voting
  • Achieved a 196.4 QB Rating during 2020 while throwing 33 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions along with 3,692 passing yards (Zach Wilson College Stats)
  • Sensational college career numbers with 56 touchdown passes, only 15 interceptions, and 15 rushing scores
  • Led the Cougars to a 11-1 record last season

What strengths does Wilson have in the eyes of NFL scouts?

Wilson has natural football instincts and a high intelligence level that allows him to process loads of complex information quickly.  The Draper Utah native showed lots of good leadership qualities during his three seasons with BYU.  NFL scouts love that Wilson never looks rattled and always shows plenty of patience in the pocket by never forcing a bad throw into tight coverage.

Scrambling ability and sneaky-fast speed are two more strengths that Wilson brings to the table.  In fact, Wilson scampered for ten rushing touchdowns during his junior year at Brigham Young.  Defenders are often shocked at how quick and elusive Wilson is once he gets down the field.

Not only does Wilson run well, he also throws well on the run.  Wilson has pinpoint accuracy and seems to hit every receiver in stride.  This high level of accuracy will be a huge key at the NFL level.

What concerns do NFL scouts have about Wilson?

The one knock that many scouts and coaches have on Wilson is his lack of size.  Granted, 6-3 and 210 pounds is not that small by usual standards but it is rather light for the pro level.  The main question that many folks have is can Wilson withstand the bone crushing hits that occur in the NFL.

Also, Wilson has an unfortunate history of shoulder surgeries and this is concerning for any NFL team (  However, Wilson showed in 2020 that he is fully healthy and the Jets do not seem to be overly worried about his past injuries.How will Wilson do as a rookie in the NFL?

Assuming all reports are correct and the Jets draft Wilson, it will be a tough first season.  The Jets have massive issues on the offensive line and Wilson will be running for his life most of his rookie season due to lack of protection up front.  However, Wilson should provide plenty of highlight reel throws and could be the perfect quarterback of the future for the Jets.


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