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2021 NFL scouting report: BYU QB Zach Wilson

A review of one of the more exciting QB prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Boca Raton Bowl-Central Florida at Brigham Young Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has the attention of quite a few teams, especially considering his junior season where he was very productive and made some amazing plays, both with his arm and with his legs. Finishing the 2020 season with 3,692 yards passing, 33 Touchdowns and 3 interceptions, Wilson is yet another QB that is getting plenty of buzz and being mentioned as potential top 5 pick.

He has a good feel overall as a runner and a passer and has had some highlight worthy throws in his college career. He absolutely has a high ceiling as an NFL prospect, and he has a level of confidence that’s evident and needed to succeed. At the same time, he’ll have to prove he can get it done at the NFL level after dominating a schedule that featured just two ranked opponents and in spite of some noteworthy holes in his game.

Here’s my evaluation of another quarterback the Falcons may consider in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Zach Wilson Scouting Report

Player Height/Weight: 6’3” – 210 lbs

Games Watched: Vs. Coastal Carolina (2020), vs. Navy(2020), vs. UCF(2020)

Strengths

  • Good arm strength to throw balls at all levels and excels at the short to intermediate levels
  • Throws with excellent anticipation and accuracy
  • Throws a catchable ball to his receivers and doesn’t often miss the open target
  • Mobility in and out of the pocket is top notch.
  • Displays quick feet when running in space
  • Has a great feel for pressure and knows how to keep his head up while moving
  • Short, compact and quick release when throwing the ball
  • Makes highlight reel throws when on the run
  • Has shown the ability to manipulate defenses with his eyes
  • Shows great patience in the pocket
  • Goes through his progressions and knows when to check it down
  • Plays with great energy and confidence

Weaknesses

  • Could stand to add a little more weight to his frame to hold up at the NFL level
  • Needs to get better at protecting himself as a runner when out of the pocket, as it could lead to injury
  • Does make throws that put his receivers in positions to take huge hits
  • Will need to speed up his reads at the next level as pressure will be more frequent
  • Gets unnecessarily flashy with some of his throwing angles and release points which could lead to turnovers at the next level
  • Can be too reliant on his arm strength and not reliant enough on his mechanics

Zach Wilson has a high ceiling as an NFL level quarterback, which is what teams would bank on when picking him in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s worth noting, however, that as good as Wilson was his final year at BYU, that was still only one year of quality production. The question is does he have the consistency and makeup of a star quarterback at the next level?

Wilson is the current shiny object in the window when it comes to quarterback prospects in the draft, with some teams reportedly having him above Justin Fields on their boards. He showed flash and flair in 2020, but drafting him too high and putting a ton of pressure on him to succeed immediately could be his undoing. If he doesn’t start protecting himself on scrambles out of the pocket and use proper mechanics when he throws the ball, how long will he last even if he is an elite-caliber player?

Then of course there’s the question we’re all asking: Could the Falcons draft Wilson at 4? Sure, but that’s simply not a gamble they should take for a player that has been often injured and shows a bit of immaturity when on the field. I’m not saying he won’t be successful at the next level, but a lot of things would have to go right if picking a player like Wilson this high in the draft, and I’d prefer another team took that risk.