Come in, Zach Wilson.
Many experts knew Brussels’ Zach Wilson before the 2020 season, but few expected his shares to rise so quickly. He was always considered a potential quarterback, maybe even a future first round quarterback, but as a number 2 candidate? What exactly has changed? Let’s see. Analyze the 2020 season, in which Wilson leads the Cougars to an 11-1 record and a Boca Raton Bowl victory, and you get three things. In-depth precision, mobility and decisiveness.
During his junior season, Wilson consistently shut down the top of the defense with an incredible touch on his deep ball. He ranked third among all NCAA quarterbacks with 11 yards per attempt, an impressive feat in a difficult modern game. NFL teams are increasingly evolving to Andy Reid’s deep-ball attacking style. You need a quarterback who can not only throw for 20 yards, but does it accurately. Wilson certainly fits that bill.
Another skill sought after by professional recruiters is mobility. In addition to his accuracy from deep, Wilson has also proven to be a legitimate moving threat. His rushing numbers won’t be remarkable (70 attempts for 254 yards in 2020), but his ability to move the pocket and extend plays downfield will work in his favor. Wilson is a dual threat like everyone else.
Finally, we come to the most important and valuable aspect of Wilson’s game: his decision-making. Simply put, he doesn’t pass the ball much. In three seasons at BYU, Wilson has thrown 56 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions, including 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions last season. In the NFL, the name of the game is football defense. Zach Wilson sure does.
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*Certainly valid for players 21 years of age and older in Illinois and Iowa.
When you look at a player who many expect to be in the top 5, it is difficult and unpopular to look for weaknesses. But Wilson doesn’t have a perfect resume either. This could be considered nitpicking, but two things in particular seem questionable to me about the selection for Wilson. The power of the program and the talent that surrounds it.
While it’s easy to get excited about Wilson’s latest 2020 statistic, it doesn’t give the whole picture. When you look at the teams he played in to get those stats, you wonder if you can trust them. Teams like Navy, Troy, Louisiana Tech, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Western Kentucky, North Alabama and San Diego State don’t form a game plan that scares opponents. In fact, none of them can be considered a true football school. While teams like Coastal Carolina and Central Florida could be considered contenders, that’s not enough for some. It gets even more complicated when you look at Wilson’s performance against Coastal Carolina, BYU’s only loss last season. That was his worst start in 2020.
Finally, we come to one of the least discussed points about Wilson’s hype: the talent surrounding him. I’m not going to sit here and convince you that BYU is an NFL factory or anything, but with or without Zach Wilson, the Cougars were a talented college football team last season. The Cougar defense is the most tenacious in the country, allowing just 15.3 points per game (fourth) and 4.8 yards per play (eighth). A talented defense is a big help to the offense, especially when they are able to take key shots from midfield.
Speaking of the offense, it wasn’t bad either. Running back Tyler Allgeier finished the season with 158 yards (eighth/NCAA) on 150 carries and an average of 7.5 yards per attempt, which is a legitimate running threat. BYU also had incredible depth at receiver, with Dax Miline ranked fourth nationally in receiving. Gunner Romney and Neil Pau’u also showed their greatness: Romney had a total of 767 yards and Pau’u 603 yards. The offensive line has also done a good job of keeping Wilson out of the backfield, with only 11 sacks all season.
Overall, I think Zack Wilson has everything it takes to become a good NFL quarterback. He often makes impressive throws, can move the pocket and can certainly develop into a top player. However, it is still far from being a finished product. He needs to learn the speed of the NFL game and get rid of his sloppy footwork. The potential is there, he just needs the right coaching and the right development cycle to really get off the ground in the league. I don’t think you’re going to get the best out of him on day one, but maybe that’s what he needs to do in New York.
frequently asked questions
How many picks do the Jets have in the 2021 selection?
The Jets have nine picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. They have three picks in the first five rounds, including #2 and #23.
Who will the Jets go out with in 2021?
This year commentator ButCanHePlayDT, assistant general manager in our community mockery, selected the New York Jets with the second pick in the 2021 POD Mock, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Here’s BootKenHePlayDT with his reasoning: Jets on 2 should be Pena Sewell.
Who has the first pick in the 2021 draft?
The order of the 32 first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft has been determined: The Jacksonville Jaguars pick #1 and the New York Jets pick #2.
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