Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

 Log In  | Sign Up  |  Contact      

NFL Draft Profile – QB Zach Wilson

By Doug Orth | 3/14/21 |

Zach Wilson


College: BYU
Height/Weight: 6'2"/214
Hands: 9 1/2"

Important NFL Combine Numbers

40-Yard Dash: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
20-Yard Shuttle: N/A
3-Cone: N/A

College Production (Stats)

High-end NFL Player Comp(s): Matthew Stafford
Low-end NFL Player Comp(s): A more accurate Jay Cutler

Best Scheme Fit: Play-action, vertical-based offense to take advantage of his arm strength and improvisational abilities. A balanced offense may just be what he needs to reduce his odds of taking unnecessary punishment as a runner.

Non-bolded times - Good examples of attribute
Bolded times - Average/poor examples of attribute

Position-Specific Attributes and Grades
Attribute Att Grade Scale Examples
Accuracy 9.0 10.0 2:51, 5:47, 6:44, 8:45, 10:09, 13:49, 3:23, 3:43
Anticipation/Tight Window 9.5 10.0 1:33, 5:24, 5:47, 8:07, 11:11
Decision Making 8.0 10.0 0:22, 0:53, 5:24, 1:03, 2:06, 2:59, 7:49, 9:31, 12:50
Durability 8.0 10.0
Improvisation/Throw On Run 9.5 10.0 1:07, 3:03, 4:52, 5:24, 5:30, 7:21
Poise/Awareness 9.0 10.0 0:53, 3:03, 3:28, 5:24
Vision/Read Progression 8.0 10.0 0:22, 0:53, 2:56, 8:57, 9:27
Athleticism/Mobility 4.0 5.0 1:05, 1:34, 2:31, 4:52, 5:30, 7:21
Arm Strength 5.0 5.0 2:51, 5:51, 7:05, 7:38, 11:41, 12:26
Film Grade 70.0 80
Pre-Draft Fantasy Prospect Grade* (out of 50): 39.0

* - How well does his skill set carry over to the fantasy game? For quarterbacks, a player needs to be a realistic threat for 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards to be a candidate for a perfect grade. Positional scarcity at the pro level is also a part of the equation.


Don't make the mistake of looking at Wilson's year-to-year totals and calling him a one-year wonder. He dedicated himself to his craft during the spring of 2020 and reaped the rewards of it by improving in virtually every area of his game. There's no question Wilson tries to model his game after Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. He possesses plenty of confidence in his ability to throw against his body, improvises well and uses just almost every imaginable arm angle when the situation calls for it. Wilson also shows a surprising amount of touch and is remarkably accurate for a young player with so much arm strength. (He could do a better job of placing the ball in spots so his receivers are in a better position to create after the catch, so it's still an area he needs to improve.) He has a quick release and isn't shy about pulling the trigger. If it sounds like he has many of the tools he needs to succeed as an NFL quarterback, it's because he does.


Some have questioned Wilson's viability as a prospect because BYU didn't play any Power Five schools in 2020 - as a result of cancellations due to COVID-19 -and couldn't beat Coastal Carolina late in the season. The Cougars had less than 48 hours to prepare for a cross-country trip and meeting with the (then-) unbeaten Chanticleers. A loss to Coastal Carolina isn't what talent evaluators care about when deciding on his NFL future. He needs to add at least 10-15 pounds of muscle because he will need more protection if he continues with his current playing style. He is an above-average athlete who plays more like he believes he is an elite athlete. As a result, he doesn't do a great job of avoiding contact (1:34, 2:31, 10:20). He's already had surgery on his right shoulder and right thumb, so concerns about his durability are legit. For all the experience he has with throwing into tight windows - a necessary trait at the next level - he may a bit too keen on the idea of big-play hunting. It wasn't overly difficult to find a handful of questionable decisions against the likes of Navy, Troy or Coastal Carolina. Whereas those opponents didn't always make him pay for his mistakes, NFL defenses won't be nearly as forgiving.

Bottom Line

The ability for a quarterback to make off-schedule plays is a necessary part of the job in the NFL. It becomes an issue when that same player lives on those plays but otherwise struggles to operate within the framework of the offense. Some parallels exist between Wilson and Cutler, but it would rather shocking if the former's NFL career ends up resembling the latter's because he is so much more accurate. It would behoove his next employer to ease Wilson into the starting role (i.e. rely heavily on the run game and play-action early in his career) in order to simplify his reads and avoid putting him in a position where he believes he needs to force the action as often as he did as a Cougar. There is some bust potential here, but a good offensive coach is going to love working with his skill-set and should be able to eventually mold him into the strong starter Stafford has been for over a decade if his team makes protecting him a priority.

Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.