NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings: No. 3 – Zach Wilson, BYU

Zach Wilson proved a lot of people wrong during a banner final season at BYU.
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With Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, the Green Bay Packers are set atop the depth chart at quarterback. However, with backup Tim Boyle signing with the Detroit Lions in free agency, Green Bay could use a developmental prospect.

BYU’s Zach Wilson is our No. 3-ranked quarterback.

Zach Wilson wears a bracelet that reads, “Prove Them Wrong.”

Mission accomplished.

A Utah native, playing for the Utes was his dream. But they didn’t offer him a scholarship. Finally, he picked Utah’s bitter nemesis, BYU.

“My whole life, I feel like I’ve always come from the bottom,” Wilson said. “I’ve never been the guy that’s had so many scholarship offers or was known as the big-time high school recruit, or even when I first got into high school, you know, I was the fourth-string quarterback at Corner Canyon High. It’s kind of a motto I’ve lived by my whole life. I came here to BYU and no one expected me to play and we had so many other quarterbacks in front of me. I got injured; no one expected me to come back from it.”

Through his first two seasons, there was nothing special about Wilson’s performance. In 2019, he completed 62.4 percent of his passes, averaged 7.5 yards per attempt and tossed 11 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions. In 2020, he did a lot of proving people wrong. He completed 73.5 percent of his passes, averaged 11.0 yards per attempt and threw 33 touchdowns vs. three interceptions.

The youngest starting quarterback in BYU history, Wilson made huge gains physically and fundamentally headed into the 2020 season. Athletically, he can dunk with ease. As a player, he worked extensively with former BYU quarterback John Beck, who has become one of the country’s top quarterbacks coaches at 3DQB.

“Zach is a better quarterback today than he was last year at this time, for sure,” Beck said before the season. “Zach’s arm right now is the strongest I have seen it. Zach’s ability to throw from some of the positions we have put him in over these last couple of months has improved a lot. Zach’s ability to make some of the hard throws easier, and make them more consistently, is a lot better.”

Forced to win a three-man quarterback derby following a disappointing 2019 season, Wilson finished second in the nation with 31 big-time throws but had only four turnover-worthy plays, according to Pro Football Focus.

Wilson started playing football when he was 7. His father, Mike Wilson, a former defensive lineman at Utah, was the coach. Those first drills didn’t go so well.

“They put me up against this kid who was probably 250 pounds, just massive,” Wilson said of that day some 14 years ago. “I remember being so scared of getting clobbered by Justin Mobley. That’s my first football memory. I’ve never forgotten that.”

Measureables: 6-foot-3, 210 pounds (unofficially).

Stats and accolades: In three seasons, Wilson threw for 7,652 yards with 56 touchdowns vs. 15 interceptions. He threw 23 touchdowns in 501 attempts his first two seasons and 33 touchdowns in 336 attempts in 2020. He wound up finishing eighth in Heisman Trophy voting.

NFL Draft Bible Says: Wilson projects as an eventual starting quarterback in a west coast offense, thanks largely to his accuracy and mobility. To take his game to the next level, he will need to improve his footwork and become better at reading and understanding defenses on a consistent level. However, if an offense is tailored around his mobile style of play, the sky's the limit as to how much fireworks Wilson can bring into the NFL-- he brings the biggest risk/reward value among round one signal-callers.