Analyst: BYU’s Zach Wilson ‘Every Bit As Good’ As Top QBs In 2021 NFL Draft

Oct 9, 2020, 3:33 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2020, 3:15 pm
Zach Wilson - Idaho State - BYU...
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – College football analyst Cam Mellor thinks that BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is “every bit as good” as the top quarterbacks that are expected to be taken early in the 2021 NFL Draft, like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

Mellor, an editor and writer for SB Nation, recently joined KSL Sports’ Kyle Ireland on the Yards After College Podcast to discuss Wilson’s NFL Draft stock and compared the junior QB to other top signal-callers in college football.

“I think Zach is every bit as good as either one of those two guys if I’m being completely honest,” Mellor said when asked how Wilson compared to Lawrence and Fields, who have been atop NFL mock drafts for quite a while. “I probably say QB three. I would have said before the year that Brock Purdy [Iowa State] was probably quarterback three in the draft. But I have no issue now after Purdy struggled… I have no issue saying Zach’s the third best quarterback and sitting in like the early teens for a draft pick in the first round this year.”

Level of Competition

Mellor said that despite the level of competition that Wilson and BYU have faced in 2020, the junior QB has shown him enough to prove that he’s worthy of a first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Trey Lance, quarterback for North Dakota State of the FCS ranks, recently announced that he’s turning pro. Lance is projected to be a first round selection in multiple mock drafts.

Mellor highlighted Lance’s lower level of competition at North Dakota State and said that Wilson is “leaps and bounds” above the Bisons quarterbacks.

“If anybody’s going to look and say Trey Lance is an NFL Draft quarterback, then you absolutely have to say Zach Wilson is leaps and bounds above Trey Lance because what they both offer,” Mellor told Ireland. “Wilson is so far ahead. So far advanced and has the moxie and everything else that you would want for a quarterback. So if you’re going to say that Trey Lance is a good quarterback, and you’re just going to forget the fact that he’s played FCS teams, you look at it, you say Zach Wilson is better than Trey Lance, because, in my opinion, a lot of what a quarterback does, it does not matter that defense sits on the field. Obviously, you want them playing good defenses to show you that can. But at that point, NFL throws are NFL throws and there’s going to be decent coverage on certain plays.”

A Joe Burrow-esque Leap

On social media, Mellor has compared Wilson’s leap as junior to the jump that former LSU and current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow made from his junior to senior season.

“Burrow had that leap from undrafted guy at the beginning of the year to a first round pick and you’re looking at Zach as the exact same way. These draft pundits, draft guys did not have Zach on their list because they figured, ‘Oh, it’s a BYU junior. He’ll be back. He’s not really shown anything. He had nine interceptions last year. Blah, blah, blah.’ All of a sudden though, Zach, one person says it, you start looking at it. He’s got these crazy good numbers and the draft analysts are looking at it now saying, ‘Oh, wow. This kid is actually a first rounder that’s that’s where I think the you know, the Joe Burrow-esque leap needs to be put into context in that regard. In the sense that not really talking about him before the season three games and we’re talking about him as a first round player. So a three game resume or a short game, a short stretch of a season resume to put you into, that vaults you into that top first round quarterback conversation is where I think that leap or that the Joe Burrow leap is is accurate.”

Wilson and BYU look to improve to 4-0 on the season in the Cougars’ game against UTSA on Saturday, October 10 at 1:30 p.m. (MDT). The game will broadcast on ESPN2 and KSL NewsRadio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.

Subscribe to the Yards After College Podcast to hear the entirety of Ireland’s conversation with Mellor on Wilson’s NFL Draft stock.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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