Zach Wilson Has 'A Little Bit of Baker Mayfield Syndrome,' According to NFL Exec

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 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

Confidence isn't a bad thing in a quarterback, and it's arguably a requirement for the job. But in the eyes of at least one NFL executive, BYU star Zach Wilson might be a bit too willing to take risks.

Speaking with NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the executive said Wilson has "a little bit of Baker Mayfield syndrome, where you like [the edge] to a point."

"It's just whether or not you can control it and toe the line," the anonymous exec said.

This isn't the first time Wilson has been compared to Mayfield, and the BYU star explained in November how he wears a headband in part because of how Mayfield and Oklahoma players sported the look:

ESPN College Football @ESPNCFB

You know @garystriewski had to come with the headband look to talk to BYU's Zach Wilson 😎 https://t.co/5kK1qFxCv4

Appearing on Get Up! (h/t 247Sports' Riley Gates), ESPN's Desmond Howard echoed the executive's assessment of the two signal-callers, saying Wilson is "really a gunslinger, just like Mayfield":

"Both guys have tremendous confidence in their arms, they're going to throw some balls you think they shouldn't throw. They're excellent off-platform throwers, too, and they can get outside the pocket and run, but they'd rather still throw the ball, even when they break contain, which makes them both very dangerous. I just think he’s a little taller, but has the same mentality of a Baker Mayfield. He’s really a gunslinger, just like Mayfield."

In three years at Oklahoma, the 6'1" Mayfield completed 69.8 percent of his passes while throwing just 21 interceptions and finishing with a 189.4 passer rating.

During his breakout junior campaign, the 6'3" Wilson had a 196.4 passer rating, a 73.5 percent completion rate and 33 touchdowns to three interceptions.

Mayfield's time with the Cleveland Browns is an example of how NFL throwing windows are far different from college throwing windows. His 21 interceptions in 2019 were the second-most in the league.

The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner improved his efficiency under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski in 2020, finishing with 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions while sitting 10th in QBR (72.2).

Beyond providing a helpful on-field comparison for Wilson, Mayfield has also shown how the right coaching can be critical toward a young quarterback's development.