BYU's Zach Wilson, one of college football's top QB prospects, declares for NFL draft

Jack Baer
·3-min read

Zach Wilson is officially headed to the 2021 NFL draft, and he likely won’t have to wait long to hear his name called on April 29.

The BYU junior announced Friday that he will forego his senior season and declare for the draft, as expected after a breakout season in Provo.

“After much thought, prayer and consideration, I am excited to announce, that I will be declaring for the 2021 NFL draft,” Wilson said. “I pray that I will always make Cougar Nation proud.”

Wilson previously tweeted and deleted a similar statement earlier in the day, likely due to his last name being misspelled as “Wison” in the first post. We’ll see if that’s the only “L” he takes in the draft process.

Zach Wilson among top options after Trevor Lawrence

In most other NFL drafts, Wilson would among the candidates to go first overall. That isn’t so this year, with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence looking like a lock to be picked first by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who clinched the selection last weekend.

Instead, Wilson is among the candidates to go second overall to the New York Jets, who have a quandary on their hands. Sam Darnold has been a disappointment in his first three NFL seasons, but remains only 23 years old and has had little help as far as weapons and coaches go. The team could stick with him and select another offensive building block like Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell or LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

If the Jets decide to move on from Darnold and select another quarterback, here’s what Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm has to say about their options:

BYU’s Zach Wilson appears to be the most likely QB option at No. 2 if the Jets stay there. Wilson has displayed star power this season and appears to have the confidence, arm talent and outside-of-structure playmaking ability to be worth the investment.

Other contenders could be Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. There are enough QB-needy teams behind the Jets that it’s hard to imagine Wilson falling further than halfway through the first round.

BYU will miss Zach Wilson

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (1) reacts after their win against North Alabama in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger, Pool)
Zach Wilson looked like an exciting talent at BYU. We'll see if it translates in the NFL. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger, Pool)

In 12 games as a junior at BYU, Wilson went 247-for-336 with 3,692 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He was also a plus in the running game, chipping in 254 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Beyond the stats, Wilson possesses NFL size at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, and showed an ability to make incredibly difficult throws down the field.

With Wilson under center this season, BYU finished with an 11-1 record and was among the top Group of Five teams in the country this year. The Cougars looked on track for a New Year’s Six bowl until Coastal Carolina ended their run as an undefeated team.

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