Zach Wilson Rumors: '1 of the Reasons' Jets Like BYU QB Is 'Ideal Scheme Fit'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2021

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson warms up before participating in the school's pro day  football workout for NFL scouts Friday, March 26, 2021, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The New York Jets have been linked to BYU quarterback Zach Wilson as a potential No. 2 pick of the 2021 NFL draft and he could fit perfectly in the team's new offense.

"One of the reasons the Jets like Wilson is because he's an ideal scheme fit," Rich Cimini of ESPN reported. "They're installing the Shanahan version of the West Coast offense, which stresses play-action and a moving pocket. A quarterback must be able to throw on the run, and Wilson does that very well."

Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur served on the same staff under Kyle Shanahan with the San Francisco 49ers. LaFleur was the team's passing game coordinator over the past three years.

As Cimini noted, Wilson excelled in college in both rollouts and play-action passes, two staples of the offense.

While he wasn't facing a defense, the quarterback showcased this skill set with an amazing throw during his pro day after a fake and a roll to his left:


Zach Wilson ‼️ @BYUFootball | @zachkapono1 https://t.co/yJBzgDdPQy

Wilson is coming off a breakout season in 2020, throwing 33 passing touchdowns with 10 rushing touchdowns and just three interceptions. His efficiency was especially impressive while posting a 196.4 passer rating that ranked second in the country behind only Alabama's Mac Jones.

It could be a nice change after Sam Darnold ranked dead last among qualified NFL players last season with a 72.7 quarterback rating.

Despite the upside, scheme is not everything when evaluating a quarterback. Wilson ranks fourth at his position by Bleacher Report's Scouting Department behind Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Trey Lance.

With a first-time head coach and first-time offensive coordinator leading the Jets, getting the best player could be more important than fitting personnel around an unproven scheme.