2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: BYU QB Zach Wilson

HEIGHT: 6-2 / WEIGHT: 214 / COLLEGE: BYU / CLASS: Junior

2020 STATS (12 GAMES): 247/336, 73.5%, 3,692 yards, 11 YPA, 33 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 196.4 passer rating

CAREER STATS (30 GAMES): 566/837, 67.6%, 7,652 yards, 9.1 YPA, 56 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 162.9 passer rating

GAMES WATCHED (13): Every start (2020); Washington (2019)

40BENCHVERTBROAD3 CONE20S60S

ACCURACY/BALL PLACEMENT (22.5/25)

  • Good three-level accuracy (short, intermediate and deep)
  • Accurate on the move rolling to either side
  • Consistent ball placement — leads receivers to YAC
  • Able to hit tight-window throws consistently
  • Ability to vary ball speeds/throw with touch
  • Able to alter arm angles without compromising accuracy
  • Was rarely under any significant pressure in 2020 so it’s difficult to say with confidence how accurate he is when rushed
  • Sailed throws at times due to over-striding

ARM STRENGTH/VELOCITY (13.5/15)

  • Cannon of a right arm
  • Able to access every level of the field with his velocity
  • Drives the ball into tight windows down the field and from the far hash
  • Able to cover at least 65 yards of vertical distance
  • Maintains velocity on the move
  • Compensates well with arm strength/velocity when he doesn’t have his feet set, for the most part

MENTAL PROCESSING (15/20)

  • Pretty good pre-snap and post-snap field vision
  • Reads the entire field when necessary
  • Solid processing speed
  • Sound decision-maker, for the most part
  • Good timing and anticipation when throwing outside the numbers
  • Shows ability to move linebackers and safeties with eyes
  • Pretty good internal clock
  • Unafraid to take downfield shots and test tight coverage
  • Can be too concerned with taking deep shots — will pass up guaranteed yards underneath at times for much more difficult throws
  • Predetermines where he’s throwing at times
  • Occasionally leads receivers into punishing hits
  • Has some issues with timing and anticipation when throwing over the middle of the field
  • Threw some careless no-look shovel passes that could’ve been intercepted
  • Miniscule sample size of decision-making vs. pressure to assess in 2020

POCKET PRESENCE (12/15)

  • Knows how to slide within the pocket to find throwing lanes
  • Feels edge pressure fairly well and steps up to avoid it or looks to escape the pocket when needed
  • Takes deep drops and doesn’t step up as frequently as he should (creates own pressure at times)
  • Can be a little quick to bail on clean pockets and will needlessly resort to “backyard football” playstyle at times
  • Generally keeps eyes up when pressure closes in
  • Shows poise to stand in the pocket and throw under pressure

THROWING MECHANICS (4/5)

  • Smooth, snappy, over-the-shoulder delivery
  • Typically does a good job of driving the ball with his lower half
  • Keeps a wide enough base when setting up to throw
  • Does a good job of resetting feet and staying ready to throw when forced to move in the pocket
  • Will over-stride at times
  • False step at the top of drop can throw off timing of throws occasionally

MOBILITY/OFF-SCRIPT PLAYMAKING (8.5/10)

  • Solid mobility — not a dynamic athlete, but has enough speed to keep defenses honest (high 4.7/low 4.8 40?)
  • Light on feet and shows some shiftiness as a runner
  • Fairly elusive in the pocket
  • Has created some explosive passing plays when flushed outside of the pocket

INTANGIBLES (9/10)

  • 3-year starter
  • Showed massive improvement as a junior
  • Shows toughness in the pocket
  • Only one good year of production
  • Level of competition concerns — played very few ranked teams/NFL-caliber players

OVERALL GRADE: 84.00/100.00 — 1ST ROUND — Quality starter with Pro Bowl potential

NFL COMPARISON: Baker Mayfield

SCHEME FIT: Has the arm talent to be scheme-versatile, but may translate most easily into a vertical offense.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Top-5 pick

Zach Wilson has the potential to become a top-10 NFL quarterback with his combination of high-end arm talent, processing, athleticism and off-script playmaking ability. Play vs. pressure and ability to process more complex coverages and blitz packages are undoubtedly the biggest lingering questions for Wilson in the pre-draft process. In his one game against a ranked opponent (Coastal Carolina) in 2020, he looked solid but struggled with accuracy and decision-making a little bit. Wilson projects as a viable rookie starter and potential franchise quarterback, but there’s room to improve with his decision-making, timing, anticipation and pocket management.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s