Scout: Zach Wilson Should Be No. 1 Pick over Trevor Lawrence in 2021 NFL Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson scrambles during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Coastal Carolina Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Conway, S.C.Coastal Carolina won 22-17. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

At least one NFL draft scout believes BYU quarterback Zach Wilson should be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft over Clemson's Trevor Lawrence.

According to Bob McGinn of The Athletic, the scout said:

"He will not be the first pick in the draft, but he should be. Love him. He's just a natural. He just has the movement, the looseness, the throwing from all angles, the jumping around in the pocket. His release is quick as hell. He can throw the ball. He is a nifty, elusive type in the pocket. He can run a little bit."

Wilson enjoyed a spectacular junior year at BYU in 2020, completing 73.5 percent of his passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions to go along with 254 yards and 10 scores on the ground as well. He also led the Cougars to an 11-1 record.

After his dominant performance last season, Wilson seems like a safe bet to come off the board in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, and he may even be the favorite to be the second quarterback taken behind Lawrence—ahead of Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Alabama's Mac Jones.

Wilson will be hard-pressed to surpass Lawrence as the No. 1 overall pick, though, as Lawrence has essentially been ticketed for that spot since his freshman season at Clemson in 2018.

It is tough to argue with Lawrence's success, as he threw for 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in three collegiate seasons. He also led Clemson to three College Football Playoff appearances and one national championship.

Wilson never got his team to that level, plus he only had one year of elite production, as he combined for 23 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in his first two seasons at BYU.

Wilson, at 6'3" and 210 pounds, also doesn't have the same prototypical size as the 6'6", 220-pound Lawrence, which is something that could work against the BYU product.

The Jacksonville Jaguars own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and it is essentially a foregone conclusion that they will take a quarterback, especially after luring Urban Meyer out of retirement to be their head coach.

Lawrence is the safe, easy pick, and he seemingly has all the makings of being a superstar NFL quarterback. Taking Lawrence and not having it work out would likely be an easier pill to swallow than taking Wilson and watching Lawrence have a better career since Lawrence has looked like the obvious pick for so long.

That alone could play a role in the Jags going with Lawrence, but it is also difficult to argue with the sustained success he had at the highest level of college football.

The fact that Wilson played against a lower level of competition and only had one big year doesn't preclude him from being a stud in the NFL, but he definitely comes across as a riskier pick than Lawrence.

Assuming the Jaguars make the popular selection and go with Lawrence first overall, Wilson will be an option for several other teams picking high in the draft, including the New York Jets at No. 2, Atlanta Falcons at No. 4, Philadelphia Eagles at No. 6, Detroit Lions at No. 7 and Carolina Panthers at No. 8.