2021 NFL Draft Profile: QB Zach Wilson
Essentially every year, there’s a player that dramatically rises up draft boards compared to where the general consensus was on him heading into the season. We’ve seen it in previous years with Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and the list goes on. This year was no exception.
Wilson was on essentially nobody’s radar heading into the 2020 CFB season from a draft perspective. Throughout BYU’s training camp, Wilson wasn’t even officially viewed as the starter on his own team. However, once the season started, Wilson put himself quickly on everyone’s radar through some fantastic performances.
Now, he’s elevated himself to a top-5 lock in the 2021 NFL Draft. The game comes so naturally to him, and the potential is sky-high for what he can become in today’s NFL. What does Wilson bring to the table, though, that sent his draft stock skyrocketing this season? Is he ready to step onto the field on day one and be a dominant NFL QB?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Zach Wilson:
Weight: 214 lbs.
Hands: 9 1/2
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Accuracy (77.5): Overall, a very accurate QB at all levels of the field. Able to hit receivers in stride in the short passing game and downfield. Also, very accurate when throwing on the run, which is good for how much he’s moving around.
Decision-Making (74): Good decision-making and takes care of the football. There are very few questionable decisions on tape outside of potentially trying to bail out of the pocket versus stepping up into it.
Mental Processing (72): A “see it and rip it” type of QB. His first read is often open, and he guns it in without hesitancy. He can run into trouble when his first read isn’t there, and he looks to get on the move almost immediately. Concerning for the next level when the windows get smaller and the pass rush gets more intense. He shows the ability to go through multiple reads, but he needs to learn to do that from within the pocket’s safety.
Arm Strength (78): Fantastic arm. Won’t compete with the top of the NFL right away, but a quick and natural delivery that flicks the ball 40+ yards downfield. Able to drive it sideline to sideline as well.
Pocket Presence (74): Concerning pocket presence, as mentioned above. A couple of instances on film where he can navigate the pocket beautifully with his eyes downfield, but the concern is his unwillingness to stay in the pocket. It could get him into trouble in the NFL.
Mechanics (79): Solid mechanics. When he has a clean pocket, he’s throwing with perfect mechanics every single time. Even when he doesn’t have a solid platform, he’s still delivering the ball accurately.
Improvisation (77): Solid improvisation ability. Able to extend plays with his legs and create when the play breaks down.
Poise (74): Needs to continue to develop in his poise and standing in under pressure, but that should come with more playing time.
Athleticism (79): A very athletic player. Able to escape pressure easily and get out on the move. He isn’t utilized heavily as a runner and only looks to take off and run when he has to but doesn’t possess ridiculous top-end speed. An excellent QB prospect that would benefit from some time sitting behind a veteran QB but shows tremendous upside in the NFL.
– NFL (@NFL) March 26, 2021
– The Lefkoe Show (@LefkoeShow) March 28, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
At this point of the pre-draft process, it appears that Wilson is locked in to be the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
It’s hard to view any other spot for Wilson as ideal due to how certain it appears that he’ll be landing with the New York Jets. This scheme, which is coming from Kyle Shanahan, will be perfect for Wilson and getting him routinely on the move and outside of structure. He was consistently bailing out of the pocket on film, which is a concern if you need him to operate inside structure, but this scheme won’t ask him to do that much. Perfect fit.
Wilson has a nearly identical build to Baker Mayfield, but he plays much more naturally and fluid than Baker. There are comparisons out there to Aaron Rodgers for how naturally he throws the football, which may be a tad overblown. If any comparison is out there, it is a mix between Mayfield with Rodgers’ play style.
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