From NCAA Uncertainty to Patrick Mahomes Comparisons- The Rise of Zach Wilson

Published 04/14/2021, 12:21 PM EDT


The 2021 NFL Draft class boasts a bunch of interesting quarterback prospects. The list includes Trevor Lawrence (Clemson Tigers), Justin Fields (Ohio State Buckeyes), Mac Jones (Alabama), Trey Lance (NDSU), and Kyle Trask (Florida Gators). But one such young prospect who has made headlines in recent weeks is BYU Cougars superstar, Zach Wilson.

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The 21-year-old had a standout season last year. He threw for 3,692 yards with 33 passing TDs against just 3 interceptions in 12 games. But not long ago, Wilson was dealing with his fair share of injury struggles at Brigham Young.

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From zero to hero, the journey of BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson

The Utah-born Zach Wilson rose to prominence while playing for Draper High School in 2016. As a senior, he passed for 2,986 yards with 24 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 752 yards with 8 rushing touchdowns before he declared for Boise State University.

However, he later went back on his word and opted to attend Brigham Young instead. As a true freshman in 2018, Wilson played in 9 games and made 7 starts.

He became the youngest quarterback to start for BYU that season. He concluded his junior year with 1,578 and 12 passing TDs.

‘Zachkapono’ earns Patrick Mahomes comparisons after stellar 2020 season

Despite a strong debut season, Zach Wilson was dealing with a shoulder injury in the summer of 2019. He underwent surgery in the offseason and played 9 games for BYU that year.

However, it was apparent that he had not fully recovered from the surgery, finishing the season with a career-high 9 interceptions.

But Wilson showed character to bounce back with another strong showing in 2020. He silenced his doubters and also won the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl Offensive MVP title last year.

His performances during BYU’s Pro Day last month earned him comparisons with Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.

“The throw he made running to his left in his Pro Day and the throw that traveled about 56 yards in the air and was dropped absolutely right into a bucket way down field to his receiver is a Mahomes type throw. It just is.

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“There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘This guy reminds me of Mahomes.’ There’s nothing wrong with that. But I think all of those comparisons have to really be done cautiously,” King said on the Yards After College podcast.

While Wilson still has a long way to go before he can justify these Patrick Mahomes comparisons, he certainly has the talent required to do so.

The New York Jets might have a gem on their hands, that is, if they do pick Wilson as the 2nd overall selection at the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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