Which System Fits Best For Zach Wilson?
By: Kyle Williams (Twitter: @BetOnTheGame)
In every draft, there is usually an elite end franchise-altering quarterback. That’s Trevor Lawrence. Then there’s a high end on the brink of elite type QB. That’s Justin Fields. Then lastly there’s guys who show high-end talent, flash signs of greatness, but just aren’t quite polished as off yet. That’s guys like Zach Wilson.
The 21-year old quarterback out of BYU showed flashes of brilliance in his junior season. The star QB showed poise, patience, and high-level knowledge of the game. He flashed quick elusive feet and showed burst and ability to scramble to gain needed yardage. His elite-level timing and anticipation with his receivers is a dream for NFL scouts.
Wilson seems to have the tools of a high-end caliber QB. Scouts have said some extremely positive things about him. The BYU QB is rated as one of college’s top-end quarterbacks. Wilson is widely regarded as a first-round pick in the NFL Draft in April. The only unknown for Wilson is where. Where will he end up? Well, let’s break down the best landing spots for BYU QB Zach Wilson.
- New England Patriots
If there were ever a top fit for a rookie QB, it would be with the QB whisperer Bill Belichick. His ability to groom young QB’s is beyond impressive. From the findings of the legendary hall of fame Tom Brady to the seventh round former star Matt Cassell, all the way through to making Jimmy Garoppolo a high-end caliber starter.
Belichick just has a way with quarterbacks. If he could make Matt Cassell, a seventh-round pick and flip him into a first-rounder then what can he do with a prospect that seems elite like Wilson? The fit makes too much sense in my mind.
In 2020, the Patriots were among the league’s bottom in almost all QB passing stats including yards, touchdowns, first downs, and many more. Starter Cam Newton sank with the ship leading the Patriots to their first playoff miss since 2009 and first losing record in over 20 years.
The Patriots hold the 15th pick in the NFL Draft and with Cam Newton’s impending free agency on the horizon it makes a lot of sense to connect Wilson with the Patriots. Grabbing a young QB to start the rebuild of replacing Brady is a smart move for resurrecting the franchise.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shannahan paired with an elite young QB. Ring a bell? Matt Ryan? Kirk Cousins? Jimmy Garoppolo in his first season? The head coach of the 49ers just has a knack for developing and transforming QBs into young stars.
Zach Wilson could really benefit from learning and growing with Shannahan. The fit really makes sense in my mind. Wilson’s ability to extend plays, move out of the pocket, and throw quick accurate timing routes seems perfect for the 49ers.
Wilson would be walking into a perfect scenario if this were to happen. Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle. You couldn’t ask for a much better array of weapons from jump street. Two young stud receivers, the second-best tight end in the game, and an absolutely stone wall offensive line, and a high-end defense makes things super interesting.
With Jimmy Garoppolo having a $24.1 million cap hit in 2021, the oft injured QB makes a lot of sense to be cut or traded. People forget the 49ers are just a year removed from a superbowl and almost 10 active starters have been upgraded or were injured for all of 2020.
The team finished 6-10 but with Wilson they could skyrocket. Everything with the fit just makes too much sense. The 49ers hold the 12th pick in the draft in April and could be looking to make a big splash like in past years.
3. Carolina Panthers
Offensive coordinator Joe Brady has been in the news a lot lately. Head coaching jobs are open around the league and the new coordinator fresh out of LSU in 2019 has been a hot topic in owners circles. His impressive run at LSU propelled him to a new job in Carolina as the offensive coordinator.
That’s exactly why this makes sense. In a recent interview BYU QB Zach Wilson was quoted as saying this “Another one that I actually haven’t watched much of, but I know they have a good scheme is with Joe Brady and the Carolina Panthers… so that’d be another great landing spot.” Wilson and Bengals QB Joe Burrow have the same agent and have had talks about just how great Brady is.
His offensive mind is one of king and pairing Wilson in that offensive would be perfect. Guys like D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Robby Anderson were high flying parts of the offense in 2020. But let’s not forget the biggest factor. Running back Christian McCaffrey remains on the team and is the leagues best running back.
Wilson and the Panthers make a lot of sense. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is up for free agency in 2022 and getting ahead of the curve is always a good thing. Learning from a smart savvy veteran like Bridgewater could do wonders for Wilson long term as guys like Aaron Rodgers learned from watching. The fit makes a ton of sense and the Panthers hold high enough capital with the eighth overall pick in the draft to make the move.
4. Washington Football Team
My goodness if there was a spot I would love to see Wilson land in its here. Alex Smith led the team to a playoff spot. Playoff hero Taylor Heinicke nearly led the football team to a playoff win over the Buccaneers. But Smith and Heincke are not the solutions long term.
Only a near few weeks ago the franchise parted ways with 2018 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. in hopes to go in a different direction, it’s in the best ways for the franchise to draft a QB. This is where Wilson comes in.
With the franchise having what looks to be a solid core on the defensive side of the ball with arguably the league’s best front seven it may be a smart move to start investing on offense. Head coach Ron Rivera is a fantastic offensive coach. He helped Cam Newton win an MVP and go to the Super Bowl.
Now the franchise can pair up Wilson with elite receiver Terry McLaurin and rising stars Antonio Gibson and Logan Thomas. The fit makes a lot of sense and with some draft capital, the Football Team can pair Wilson and potentially draft some receivers and offensive lineman along with bringing in free agents to help the cause.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Getting ahead of the curve is the best thing to do. With the franchise in disarray it’s likely best they look towards the future. They fired their head coach and several coordinators and staff members during the 2020 season.
In steps 2021, likely a rebuilding year as the Falcons will have several new faces on the staff. With the franchise disappointing recording several losing seasons since 2017 the direction is clear. Rebuild.
Veteran star QB Matt Ryan is on a bad contract and doesn’t make much sense for the franchise anymore. With negative assets on defense and at QB it’s time to plan ahead. The core on offense is there for a young predecessor to step in and succeed from day one.
In comes Wilson. With guys like Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley remaining along with Hayden Hurst at the tight end the environment for a rookie QB is a successful one. The Falcons need to head in the direction that’s best for the franchise, Wilson is that direction.
Everything makes sense for Wilson to succeed and get drafted to the Falcons. The Falcons hold the fourth pick in the draft this upcoming April and it’s time for a direction change on the team.