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Mel Kiper Jr. Shakes Up Landing Spot For Zach Wilson In Latest Mock Draft

(Photo courtesy of Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. from ESPN has Zach Wilson going to a team not named the New York Jets.

In Kiper’s latest mock draft, Kiper projects the former BYU signal-caller to go at No. 2, but to the Atlanta Falcons, not the Jets.

Why Mel Kiper Jr. has Atlanta moving up to pick Zach Wilson

Kiper sees this as an opportunity for the Falcons to “reboot.” With a new head coach in former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, moving up to draft Wilson would give the Falcons their future star QB, who could learn under Falcons great Matt Ryan.

Despite having Wilson ranked below Justin Fields in his player rankings, Kiper has Wilson going as the second quarterback drafted after Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville. Kiper noted that Fields could be in play for the Falcons if they moved up to No. 2, but he goes on to say that he sees Wilson as Atlanta’s “ideal option.”

Wilson is the favorite to go No. 2 overall

The buzz continues to grow for Wilson to be a lock to go No. 2 in the 2021 NFL draft. Wilson is the odds-on favorite to be selected by a team with the No. 2 team pick.

Last season, Wilson passed for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. The intangibles Wilson displayed throughout his BYU career have drawn comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes.

If Wilson goes No. 2 overall in April’s draft, he will be the highest pick for a former BYU football player. Passing Jim McMahon (1982) and Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah (2013) for the highest picks in the program’s history. Both players were the fifth pick in their respective drafts.

In Kiper’s mock draft, he has the New York Jets selecting Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the fourth pick in the “mock trade” with the Falcons. The Jets still have former USC quarterback Sam Darnold, and Kiper believes the Jets are “better off”giving Darnold another year.

The 2021 NFL Draft is in Cleveland from April 29-May 1. BYU Football will hold its annual Pro Day on March 26 at the Indoor Practice Facility.

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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