Zach Wilson is the name most talked about by College Football experts in 2020. At 1.91m, 95 kilos and in his third season in college football, BYU’s No. 1 is on the rise, already being touted as a likely first choice round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The talented QB will be in action for the Brazilian public through Watch ESPN, this Saturday (25th), at 11:15 pm, leading the unbeaten BYU (5-0) in the match against Texas State (1-5).
In five matches so far, Wilson impresses, especially, for his passing performance: 78.7% – on the way to being the historical record holder in a season at College Football. The number is even more extraordinary when compared to the first two years of the player’s career: 66% and 62% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The average yards per attempted pass is also insanely positive: 12.1. He is second in the category in the 2020 season, behind only Mac Jones, who has Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith at his disposal, two wide receivers that should be first-round picks in the NFL. Just behind the Alabama quarterback, Wilson also appears in the rating (statistic that measures the efficiency of the quarterback), with 207.7.
– The development of Zach Wilson is something really special when you look from your second year to the third. He had what I call a ‘veteran jump’ and never looked back. He is connecting the passes that the defense has allowed, has full control of the attack and is hardly being disturbed – explains Cam Mellor, American football analyst at SB Nation, United States.
To understand the ‘Zach Wilson phenomenon’ that is taking over College Football, the Lance! talked to the aforementioned Cam Mellor and Henrique Mol, from the profile NFL Scout BR, specialized in the analysis of college football players.
Qualities and weaknesses
Zach Wilson’s ability to make so-called ‘NFL passes’ catches the eye. In the professional league, with technically and athletically better players than in College Football, the windows to connect the throws are smaller, which demands greater speed in the ball, a quick mental processing, besides, obviously, precision.
– Zach Wilson has shown himself to be an extremely accurate QB, above all. Consistently, he puts the pass in a position that helps the receiver a lot in receiving, and often earning yards afterwards. In addition, your mobility to either deal with pressure in your pocket, or gain yards with your legs, will help the player at many times during his career. These are two elements that translate very well for the NFL – said Henrique Mol, from NFL Scout BR.
The BYU quarterback also stands out for its physical qualities, possessing the height and athleticism that NFL teams normally look for in a quarterback. To date, Wilson has won 100 yards with his legs and six touchdowns. The skill with the legs has also allowed him to extend the plays in his pocket, avoiding sacks, only four in the season, and having more time to scan the field and find a free receiver.
– His greatest qualities are those that are not trainable, such as height, speed, athletics, precision, American football intelligence … He had the aforementioned ‘veteran jump’ and these qualities are on full display. His other qualities are strength in the arm, as well as his knowledge and comfort in the offensive scheme, something that can translate very well in the transition to the NFL. Its weaknesses are consistency, especially when analyzed last year, as well as some injury problems. But that can be fixed with a strong offensive line in the NFL, such as the one he has available at BYU – analyzes Cam Mellor, who thinks that Wilson’s game resembles that of Alex Smith, in his time in Utah and in the beginning of career at the San Francisco 49ers.
– The (potential) roof of Zach is a top choice in the Draft and 10 years or more as a starter in the NFL. I quite compare it to what Alex Smith did in Utah and in San Francisco. I think Zach is a bit more athletic, but like Smith he has all the tools at his disposal and is a top-notch athlete.
For Henrique Mol, the remembrance is with what Baker Mayfield presented on the college football circuit in Oklahoma, before becoming the No. 1 choice in the 2018 Draft, selected by the Cleveland Browns.
– I wouldn’t say it’s a comparison yet, because it’s an incomplete sample. At the moment, I see traits that remind me of Baker Mayfield.
QB class promises in 2021
NFL teams that need a quarterback for the future are salivating with the talent they will have available in the next Draft. Trevor Lawrence, de Clemson, is practically unanimous as the best of the position and should be the first general choice in 2021. Justin Fields, from Ohio State and who will debut in the 2020 season this Saturday (24), Mac Jones, from Alabama, Kyle Trask, from Florida, Trey Lance, de North Dakota State, and Zach Wilson fight for the post of QB2.
– I think Justin Fields doesn’t get enough credit for his releases to the outside of the field. Fields is automatically classified as a double threat as a quarterback, for being so electric when the play is broken. But his ability to place the throw at the bottom of the field perfectly is unmatched in this class of quarterbacks. Zach is a little behind Fields overall in position, in my view. And Trey Lance is far behind, as fourth or fifth in this class – compares SB Nation’s Cam Mellor.