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The 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class is loaded with talent. FTN Fantasy’s first mock draft of the offseason has five QBs going in the top 10. And one of the fastest risers in the months leading up to the draft has been BYU quarterback Zach Wilson.

What should we expect of Wilson from a fantasy perspective? And where should we be rooting for him to play? This article will break it all down.

Zach Wilson college stats

YearSchoolClassGamesCompAtts%YdsY/ATDIntRush Att.Rush Yds.Rush TD
2018BYUFR912018265.915788.7123752212
2019BYUSO919931962.423827.5119671673
2020BYUJR1224733673.53692113337025410

From a statistical standpoint, Wilson didn’t jump off the page until his junior season in 2020. He completed 73.5% of his passes last year for over 300 yards per game with a 33:3 TD:INT ratio.

On top of that, he added 10 rushing TDs after scoring five in his two previous seasons combined.

Zach Wilson strengths

  • Can make any throw from any position
  • Quick, accurate thrower
  • Athleticism

Some people have gone so far as to say Wilson is a better prospect than Trevor Lawrence, but that’s certainly not the consensus. In any event, it does go to show you how much people love what they saw from Wilson in 2020.

In FTN’s first mock draft, Wilson comes off the board second overall. Wilson has a Patrick Mahomes-esque ability to make any throw from any position. Wilson also has a snappy wrist-flick release that leads to quick throws. And his accuracy was incredible in 2020, as he completed 73.5% of his passes.

The thing that jumps off the page most when watching Wilson is his athleticism. You see it when he makes those off-balance throws like Mahomes, but he’s great at avoiding pressure in the pocket, like the NFL’s other Wilson (Russell Wilson). His athleticism also helped him rush for 10 TDs last year. If that rushing ability carries over into the NFL, it could pay big fantasy dividends.

Zach Wilson weaknesses

  • Talent over mechanics
  • Accuracy under pressure
  • One-year wonder and limited elite competition

As noted above, Wilson is a superb athlete. And he was so much more gifted than everyone else on the field during his games that his athleticism would let him get away with almost anything. But more sound mechanics may be required in the NFL, where pure athleticism is rarely all it takes to perform.

Along those same lines, a knock on Wilson is that he played in a weak conference and has limited experienced against elite competition. On top of that, injuries prevented us from seeing Wilson have a full college career, so some view him as a one-year wonder.

Zach Wilson a fit in Atlanta?

Wilson appears to be a lock to go in the top 10. Here are his three best landing spots in the top 10 from a fantasy perspective.

  • New York Jets: The Jets are loaded with draft capital over the next few seasons, holding two firsts in 2021, two firsts in 2022, and several extra early-round picks over the next few drafts as well. The Jets do lack elite talent on the offense right now — though Denzel Mims could blossom after being taken in the second round of last year’s draft — but if they hit their picks, the team could become stacked soon.
  • Atlanta Falcons: This one would not be ideal for 2020, of course, but it could give Wilson a chance to develop more at the NFL level and learn from a former NFL MVP in Matt Ryan. If mechanical issues, “one-year wonder” knocks, and lack of elite competition are truly pitfalls of Wilson’s, then learning for a few more years may be his best bet for long-term success.
  • Carolina Panthers: It’s unlikely Wilson falls down to No. 8, but it would be a dream landing spot. D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Christian McCaffrey is as good of a supporting cast as you could hope for, even if Curtis Samuel leaves as a free agent. And for Wilson, who can make every NFL throw, stepping into a situation with such talented players right away would be a best-case scenario.

Fantasy impact: Zach Wilson

A lot of this depends on how Wilson’s rushing ability translates in the NFL. Is he just a pocket escape artist who was able to rack up rushing TDs against poor competition? Or is he a legitimate dual-threat QB at the NFL level? The former seems more likely, which would hamper his fantasy upside in a league stacked with rushing QBs. But his rocket arm and ability to look like Mahomes from time to time does suggest he has big upside even if he’s mostly “just a passer.” It’s doubtful he’s worth much in fantasy for the 2021 redraft season, but he’s definitely in the mix as a QB2 in dynasty leagues given the talent he displayed in college and his presumed top-five draft capital pedigree.