by Daniel Olsen
Hundreds of NFL Draft Experts have picked apart one quarterback who played college football in Provo, Utah. That quarterback is the BYU Cougar: Zach Wilson. With Mahomes comparisons, the expectations are high for Wilson to be great. Just how great will he be? It’s time to make the best educated guess possible. The NFL Draft starts tonight. These predictions must be etched in stone.
The easy answer is Patrick Mahomes. However, it might be a little too much pressure to compare Wilson to an established MVP. Instead, take a look at another quarterback from the state of Utah who was drafted last year.
Jordan Love was drafted a little later than Wilson is projected. He was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 26th pick in the first round. Expect Wilson and Love to compete for the title of Mahomes Beta Version. Both are able to make passes from unique angles.
It’s possible Jordan Love doesn’t see the field much if he remains the understudy of Aaron Rodgers. Some speculate that he will be traded in an NFL Draft package to a team like the Denver Broncos. If both Wilson and Love are on teams that have struggled lately, this debate could be accelerated. Time will tell who is the true heir to Mahomes.
This one is tough. Wilson, the co-winner of the 2020 Polynesian Player of the Year, is going against the best. That being said, he will win at least one major award in the NFL to match his trophy case in college.
It may be as early as this year if he is able to win Rookie of the Year. If he can bring whoever drafts him back into playoff contention, then that is certainly a possibility. He will be competing against the likes of Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. It’s possible that a player from another position group other than quarterback wins the award. The last two winners have been gunslingers. Saquon Barkley, star running back for the New York Giants, was the last non-QB to win.
Perhaps he will win an NFL MVP Award. That may be a few years down the road. He has the tools to do it and if he has a year similar to the likes of 2020 like he did for BYU, he could compete with the other great NFL athletes of his era. Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers probably won’t be around for much longer, but the previous two MVP winners in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are both under 30. In 10 years, Wilson could be in contention for this award if he has a special season.
Wilson wants to win as a team. That is why the title of Super Bowl MVP may be the only individual award he wants to shoot for. See the next section for more details on how many Super Bowls he might win.
Super Bowl Rings
While Wilson may have been watching the Super Bowl with his family last year, he will be competing for one with the team that drafts him. He will need a great offensive line, weapons to dish the ball to, and a stout defense. A seasoned coach surrounded by talented personnel to develop those position groups wouldn’t hurt either.
While the greatest NFL quarterbacks in BYU history have some Super Bowl wins to their name, it’s not a guarantee that Wilson wins even one. There are 31 other teams that will have the same goal.
Steve Young and Jim McMahon both won a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback. Young did win three total with two of them being the backup to Joe Montana. If Wilson can get at least one ring, he should be considered in the same pantheon of these players. He will have at least one Super Bowl appearance in his career. Flip a coin and that will decide whether he wins or loses.
Who will Draft Wilson
Expect Wilson to be drafted second overall by the New York Jets and the New York related nicknames to continue. See this Twitter poll for a list of some of the best ideas so far. Goldman Zachs sounds like a great investment opportunity. Wilson will have a whole army of Jets fans looking to him as a possible hope for change in a team where so many quarterbacks have failed recently.
Wilson has had similar weight placed upon his shoulders in college. In his freshman year, BYU was coming off an abysmal 4-9 season. Ever since he replaced Tanner Mangum in the starting lineup, Wilson did everything he could when healthy to get BYU to two straight bowl wins. In 2020, he put them in the national spotlight. If he can make it here, he can make it anywhere. Cue Frank Sinatra because Wilson is coming to New York tonight just after 6 PM Mountain Time on ESPN.
Featured image courtesy Rick Egan, The Salt Lake Tribune