Steve Young: BYU QB Zach Wilson Is Playing Like Patrick Mahomes Right Now

Nov 13, 2020, 1:03 AM | Updated: 1:13 am
Steve Young...
Former NFL Player, Steve Young attends the NFL Honors at University of Minnesota on February 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – If you created a Mount Rushmore of the best quarterbacks at BYU, Steve Young is a lock to be on in that grouping of the top four. So when one of the greatest to ever do it, not just at BYU, but in the history of the NFL, you have to listen.

Young loves what he sees from BYU gunslinger Zach Wilson right now.

The current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst was on KNBR’s Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks this week. The beginning of the interview started by discussing Young’s undefeated alma mater, BYU, and Wilson.

“They (BYU) have a great quarterback (Zach Wilson). The kid is a really good player,” Steve Young said. “I’m not going to say he’s Patrick Mahomes, but what I’m saying, he plays like Patrick Mahomes. Like, there’s no throw he can’t make. He’s just intuitive and really present when he’s playing. Every week, you’re like, wow, this is something good.”

Steve Young isn’t the only one who’s brought up Wilson and Mahomes in the same sentence. The comparison has been made because of the arm angles, cannon of an arm, shovel passes; there are some similarities. Obviously, Wilson has a long way to go before reaching the heights of the Super Bowl Champion Mahomes, but their style of play is similar. It doesn’t hurt the comparison when BYU and Wilson have pulled some plays from the Chiefs playbook this season.

Steve Young wants to see Wilson and BYU play a big team

One of the biggest knocks on Wilson and BYU, for that matter, has been the strength of competition. Young hopes Wilson and his alma mater get a crack at a power conference team this season.

“I’d love to see him play someone better,” Young said. “You know, I’d love to see him play, someone on top of the SEC, just to see. He’s talented enough that you’re like, ‘I wonder what he is before he tops out with this team.’ Because the team is big, no one’s going to be bigger than them. They’ve got plenty of size. It’s been a long time since we (BYU) had a quarterback. We almost hired the Navy coach to run the wishbone; that’s how far away we got.

“But we’re back! We’re back to doing kind of like LaVell Edwards, late 70s, early 80s, pass the ball crazy stuff. I think that’s who we are, and I think that’s where we should stick around.”

If BYU finishes with an undefeated regular-season record and is in the Top 12 of the College Football Playoff rankings, they’ll be in the mix for an at-large bowl to the New Year’s Six. After the season concludes, could Wilson leave for the NFL? All of the NFL Draft projections have Wilson skyrocketing up draft boards. The fan base of Young’s former NFL team, the 49ers, is loving Wilson at the moment. Everywhere you look on 49ers Twitter, there’s an edit of Wilson in a 49ers uniform soon to follow.

“Why is he not, maybe the first guy?”

San Francisco’s VP of Player Personnel Adam Peters was in Boise to watch Wilson go to work in a 51-17 win over Boise State. Young was asked on the show, could he run San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense if the Niners selected him?

“There’s no question that he’s capable. The more they ask of him, the better he gets,” said Young. “…So he has the grit. He’s a kid that Friday practice would end at noon during COVID, and then he’d get in a car drive down to get that special tutoring from John Beck in San Diego. He’d drive down every week and come back on Sunday night for like, six, seven, eight weeks. He’s super serious about it.

“I think he’s gonna go in the first round. He’s the kind of kid the more you watch him, you go, ‘Wait a second. Why is he not, maybe the first guy (taken in the draft)? Like I get, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are phenomenal football players but the more I watch this kid, I don’t see flaws. I don’t see problems.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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Steve Young: BYU QB Zach Wilson Is Playing Like Patrick Mahomes Right Now