It is surprising how much BYU's Zach Wilson has suddenly shot up the draft boards over the last few months. It happens every single year. A saturated industry full of super-ambitious people picks a helpless 20 something-year-old and stake their reputation on their success or failure. This time around, BYU's Zach Wilson has turned into this super underrated QB prospect for the majority of scouts seemingly out of nowhere. Wilson is a victim of scouting culture. To stand out in such a saturated industry you have to go against the curve, this leads to the majority of scouts looking at the glass to be half full instead of half empty. All scouts see in Wilson is who he can be and that's clouding who he really is in the eyes of both fans and franchises alike.
It must be noted that over the last two years Justin Fields has been seen as the 1B to Trevor Lawrence 1A but suddenly over the last three months Zach Wilson has ascended past Fields based solely on projections. There's not a strong foundation to build a scout report on. A mix of what the player is now and what he could be is the basis of a scout report, not exaggerated projections of what a player could be. Zach Wilson, who is hyped up purely based on projections, is suddenly going toe-to-toe with way more proven prospects. Fields and Lawrence each have multiple elite seasons in College unlike Zach Wilson, who dominated a weak conference for one year.
Over the last two years, the majority of the media anointed Trevor Lawrence as the 2nd coming of Peyton Manning, yet it was somewhat justified by his play on the field, the conference this play took place in, the level of competition he faced, and his squeaky clean reputation which provided a very solid base to project Lawrence as may be capable of reaching such lofty standards. The best team Zach Wilson played was something called The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, now all of a sudden his comps are Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, how? It is really unfair to Zach Wilson who is talented and should've been given a fair chance as a normal QB prospect entering the draft. What happens when he ends up being just a good QB when fans were promised a multiple MVP caliber Quarterback?
i. The Best And Worst Case Scenario’s For Zach Wilson
The best-case scenario for Zach Wilson is Josh Allen. A QB who has an actual case to be in the Mahomes and Rodgers tier of QB’s. The jump in competition for Wilson already makes his rookie year a wash. Wilson goes from those cupcakes BYU beat up on to potentially a division with 3 of the top 10 defensive minds in football. The Buffalo Bills provided the best blue print on how to develop a QB your franchise took completely off projections, the Jets or whoever must mirror that development environment if they hope Zach Wilson is to reach a similar peak. No multiple offensive co-ordinators, no shaky o-line, no putting too much pressure on the kid to carry the franchise early and most importantly a winning culture. Bills coach Sean McDermott never placed the burden of the franchise on Allen’s shoulders till his 3rd season and hopefully coach Robert Salah or whoever mirrors this development path.
In the worst-case scenario, nothing could be more disastrous for Zach Wilson than asking a kid who beat up on teams called the North Alabama Lions and UTSA Roadrunners to be expected to be a capable NFL Starter in his first year without a strong supporting cast and a brilliant offensive mind. Wilson should be babyied, everything the Browns did to make sure Baker Mayfield thrived last year must be replicated. If he does go to the Jets and immediately starts Flores, McDermott and especially Belichick will eat him alive.
ii. The Talent Advantage Will Be Gone For
No other player from Wilson’s schedule is expected to go as high as him. At the NFL level, this talent advantage won’t exist. With this gone, all that’s left is who the player is right now, not who he is projected to be, and if he does end up on the Jets, he’ll be on his division's worst team and would be going from an elite team in a weak conference to the worst team in a very stacked NFL division. It won’t take long for Zach Wilson's placing in the NFL to be established. If the hype never caught on, Wilson would've been a developmental pick for a team in the back half of the draft where he belongs, instead he is projected to be the face of a franchise way too early.