Height: 6’3” (will probably measure in at 6’2”)
Passing: 3692 Yards / 33 TD / 3 INT / 73.5% Comp Percentage
Rushing: 70 Att / 254 Yards / 10 TD
Zach Wilson has a great arm, can make all the throws and especially the ones on the move. Great mobility in the pocket and moving up through the pocket, still being able to throw deep off the platform, which not many quarterbacks can do. Zach Wilson works well in the multiple set offense at BYU, featuring a lot of one read RPO looks, as well as sitting back in the pocket in Pro Style sets. Zach has an incredible throw off the RPO pull from the running back, can get the ball out before linebackers and man coverage safeties can see it coming. He is not afraid to check it down, and while at times he can play hero ball, he has good enough situational awareness to check it down when need be. He loves to check it down to receiving back on swing routes or short curls. One of the major bonuses that come with Zach Wilson’s game is his arm angles. He displays the ability to throw the ball at all different angles, whether it be across the body, side arm, and slinging it to the near side on the run. Zach has incredible speed and agility for the position, to the likes of Kyler Murray. Zach is not afraid to tuck and run it, sometimes leaning on his legs too much. Zach’s deep ball is one that can rarely be matched in college football. His ball placement deep is almost perfect and puts receivers in a great position to win those balls as he puts it right where the defensive back cannot get to it. He can throw a ball on a rope in the pocket with ease, as well as off base outside the pocket. Both scenarios often end in either a great over the shoulder throw or a 50/50 ball that gives the receiver a chance to make a good grab. Zach is also a great leader. Zach seems very calm rolling out of the pocket and can deliver dimes to the upper middle part of the secondary where a lose receiver can take advantage of zone coverage. Shows swagger on the field without the off the field problems. Players love to play for him, and when slandered on twitter by a random NFC executive, players, coaches, and friends all went to bat for him. Zach has a phenomenal ability to read the field and feel the pocket around him, excellent with the 20+ yard throws over the middle tearing apart zone coverage.
Zach Wilson has an ungodly amount of time in the pocket, and a lot of times just sits there waiting for a guy to break open. In the NFL you will not nearly have that time in the pocket. He needs to learn to get the ball out quickly, but you also can’t blame him for taking the time in the pocket that the team gives him. His footwork can be lazy at times, but a good quarterbacks coach can easily dust up those mechanics. A major knock on Wilson is that he tends to throw hospital shots, meaning throws that put the receiver in danger of taking a massive hit. Now, with the new rules and regulations in the NFL, these throws are becoming safer and safer, it really just matters about chemistry with the receivers, as some may take a disliking to the position that Wilson puts them in. Wilson relies on his athleticism a lot, and that can lead to him taking egregious sacks, he must learn that he cannot juke out and shake tackles from NFL defenders, especially not 20 yards back from the line of scrimmage. Wilson has to learn when to throw the ball away and not take sacks that put his team in a hole on second and third down. Another thing that jumps out watching film is that Wilson tends to throw into the back shoulder/chest on crossing/underneath routes instead of leading the receiver. When he throws the balls that are not lead he loses precious yards on the field. He also puts high balls on the inside shoulder at times, also being low. These types of passes are going to be either picked or deflected unless the receiver is designed to be breaking in. Zach Wilson needs to protect himself, when running all over the field he takes bad hits. Wilson needs to learn how to slide or he may see a short lived career. The last con, and it does not have anything to do with Zach Wilson, is the strength of opponents. There is no question BYU has not played the toughest of opponents, and with that we really do not know what Zach Wilson looks like against a top defense in the way we know what Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence looks like. We never will know what Zach looks like against a top defense, so general managers will have to project his play against bad teams + his traits against a top ranked defense.
Final Thoughts and Projections:
Overall I think that Zach Wilson is the number two quarterback in the draft. His ability to sling it down the field while also being incredibly mobile is truly a special trait. His deep ball placement is phenomenal and would help offenses stretch the field to fully take advantage of his athleticism. Although he needs some polishing in the game (ie when to throw the ball away, when to slide, leading throws), his mental processing and understanding and willingness to learn the game is pro ready. Best fits for Zach Wilson would include the New York Jets, especially in their new Shanahan offense led by Mike LaFleur, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Carolina Panthers. All these options are reasonable draft landing spots as all fall within the top 10 draft picks.
Pro Comp: Baker Mayfield with better athleticism and a stronger arm.