It’s never good to be a team in search of a QB, but for those who have a need under center this coming season, they might just get what they need at the draft. The 2021 class of QBs really is quite outstanding, so there is certainly a lot of help to go around. We already know that the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to take Trevor Lawrence with the first pick overall, but what happens after that? There are a few QBs who could potentially go next, but the consensus seems to be that Zach Wilson out of BYU will be the next one to go after Lawrence. Unless you are a staunch college football fan, this may be a guy that you don’t know a lot about, so let’s look at why he might be the second QB to get drafted so you can bet against his NFL Draft odds.
Why is Zach Wilson on Top for the 2nd Pick Overall of the 2021 NFL Draft
Wilson’s Career at BYU
While Wilson was a star in high school, he had a tough time getting noticed by recruiters ahead of the 2018 season. Originally committing to Boise State, Wilson flipped to BYU, which was closer to home, when the opportunity arose. He ended up starting 7 games, passing for 1,578 yards and 13 TD versus just 3 INT. It was the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where people took notice of him, though, as he went 18-18 for 317 yards in that game, earning the MVP.
2019 was rough for Wilson, as a hand injury forced him out of the opening month of the season. When he did finally return, his completion percentage and stats tailed off dramatically. The chances of him being a top pick in the 2021 draft seemed like a longshot at the point, and it wasn’t until the week before the start of the 2020 season that he was officially named as the starting QB for BYU.
A fully healthy Wilson made a dramatic return to form, tossing for 33 TD passes against just 3 INT as he led BYU to an 11-1 season. His completion percentage also rose to over 73%, with his season being compared to that of Joe Burrow’s final year.
What NFL Scouts Saw
There are some who will argue that Wilson padded his stats in 2020 in a schedule weakened by the pandemic, but he can only play what is in front of him. Opponents aside, Wilson saw marked improvements in passing outside the pocket, while also completing at a high percentage against zone coverage, both of which look very good to NFL scouts. Wilson is quick and elusive, which adds another element to his game that NFL teams like. If there is a knock on Wilson, it is that he has a habit of trying to complete passes into tight coverage, but that is something that can very easily be taken out of his game by NFL coaches.
As it stands right now, the belief is that the New York Jets are going to take Wilson with the second pick in the draft, as the comparisons to Joe Burrow and the great things seen on film might well be enough to tempt them to move on from Sam Darnold.