Whether you watched Zach Wilson’s pro day this past week or not, odds are you've heard about how well the BYU quarterback performed.
He threw over 60 passes, the vast majority of which ended up in the hands and arms of his wide receivers.
There were some special displays of his talent as well, flicking dimes deep down the field while scampering outside of the pocket.
As much as Wilson passed the eye test, it’s the opinions of NFL executives that will matter the most when it comes to where Wilson will be taken in next month’s NFL draft.
In his latest MMQB at Sports Illustrated, NFL insider Albert Breer caught up with three NFL executives on what they saw during Wilson’s pro day:
NFC exec 3 on Wilson: “He ended up being bigger than I thought he’d be, and that was the No. 1 thing people worried about. He was 215 pounds, his hands measured out, he was fine with all that stuff. On the field, he was really impressive. He’s an easier thrower than I realized, very smooth motion. Where some guys have a hitch or a windup, the ball jumps right off his hand.… He’s an easy thrower on the move, you can tell he’s a natural athlete. The arm strength is excellent, the accuracy was good. He got in a rhythm where he was really hot. He also missed a couple. Walking away, if you’re [Jets GM] Joe Douglas, you feel better about it, that, ‘Yup, this is the guy.’ From a pure physical standpoint, he’s all good. You have a little medical question, because there’s so much unknown this year with everyone, he had the [2019 surgery on his] shoulder. But I don’t think that’ll be a big deal.”
AFC exec 2 on Wilson: “It was really good, he’s super talented. He throws so easy, he has a really quick delivery, he can throw from all angles and zip it if he needs to. The arm strength—if there was any question I had, it might’ve been there, and he certainly answered it. There were some throws, on each sideline, you could tell where he didn’t really rip it on tape. I’m not as worried about that now.… Could it have been better? Sure, he missed a couple. But from a talent stand, it was really impressive.… [Seeing his stature] was good. He’s not a skinny-legged guy, he’s not frail, he’s put together. I’d heard the heaviest ever been before this was 205. He was 214 at pro day, and it looked good. And he has a bigger lower body than people thought.… From a tape standpoint, he wasn’t as good as [Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers] coming out. But that’s easy to say now. Some of the ability to throw from different angles, and with a release that quick is similar to those guys. Rodgers is probably more appropriate. Remember, people weren’t super [excited] with Rodgers’ arm either, which seems crazy now. So is he as talented as those guys, as an athlete? Maybe. Is he gonna be a great generational quarterback? I don’t know.”
AFC exec 3 on Wilson: “He threw it well. He missed a few, I think he was pretty pumped up going in, so that might’ve been it. He can really throw it. It’s easy for him. He can throw across his body, on the move, to his right, to his left.… You could tell he had some nerves early, but he was poised enough to get it together. If you’re comfortable with the guy and his leadership—and I think that’ll check out—he’s really good. A BYU kid going to New York, he’ll need a little work, of course.… He looked better [physically] than I thought he would. He’s over 6’2”, and he’s not a rail, he’s got a good lower body. And you can tell he’s gotten stronger since the season.”
To read the rest of Breer's MMQB, click here.
Long story short, this highly-touted prospect showed glimpses of greatness, but he’s still got work to do. While all signs point to the Jets selecting Wilson second overall in the first round, there’s no guarantee that’s where the BYU quarterback will come off the board.
Either way, when your name is mentioned in the same breath as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, you must be doing something right.
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