While the Dolphins and 49ers traded first-round picks, a player who may have had something to do with that transaction confirmed his status as arguably the top quarterback in the 2021 draft. During BYU's pro day, Zach Wilson turned in an impressive performance that included one throw that quickly went viral.
After running to his left, Wilson quickly turned to his right before firing a completion that traveled nearly 55 yards. The throw drew an immediate response from seemingly everyone in attendance that included representatives from 31 of the NFL's 32 teams. The one team that didn't make the trip to Provo, Utah? Urban Meyer and the Jaguars, which only reinforces the assumption that Jacksonville will be selecting former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick.
Wilson left no stone -- or throw -- unturned during Friday's pro day. While he was already projected as a first-round pick, Wilson made a strong case for being the first quarterback selected. And while a tweaked hamstring prevented him from doing individual workouts, Wilson more than made up for it during the throwing portion of his pro day.
"It's never going to be perfect," Wilson told NFL Network's Steve Wyche. "Definitely things I wish I could have had back, but we all had a blast. I got to do it with my boys one last time. Grateful to be here, grateful for the experience."
With Lawrence likely headed to Jacksonville, it appears to be a three-man race between Wilson, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Ohio State's Justin Fields for who will be the second quarterback taken in the draft. Two weeks ago, it was Lance who made headlines following his impressive pro day. Fields is expected to participate in Ohio State's pro day on March 30.
CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Josh Edwards currently has Wilson going to the Jets with the No. 2 overall pick. Edwards then has the 49ers -- who traded up into the No. 3 overall pick -- taking Fields, who earlier this year led the Buckeyes to an upset win over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. Edwards has the Broncos selecting Lance with the No. 4 overall pick.
"Wilson is my second highest rated quarterback in this draft class," Edwards said following Wilson's pro day. "He is a natural passer capable of throwing from a variety of arm angles. In today's NFL, there is significant value in a player being able to move the pocket, extend plays and deliver accurate passes downfield. The BYU product offers that ability and arm strength is not an issue."
Unlike Fields, Lance and Wilson will have to prove that they are ready for the next level after spending their college careers in non Power 5 conferences. Wilson does have history on his side, as BYU previously produced successful NFL quarterbacks that include Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
While he is not the biggest quarterback, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Wilson is an elusive player who relied heavily on his athleticism to make plays during his time at BYU. In addition to his 33 touchdown passes (against just three interceptions), Wilson also rushed for 10 touchdowns during the 2020 season. Wilson's success led BYU to an 11-1 record that included a bowl victory over UCF. Wilson told Wyche that being able to play in 12 games last season (something many teams were unable to do due to the pandemic) was "huge" in terms of his growth and development.
With his pro day in the books, Wilson has a pretty good idea of how he will spend the remaining four weeks leading up to the draft.
"Keep training, keep throwing," he said. "Trying to get bigger, stronger and faster. Coming up [is] the draft; wait to see what team wants me. So excited to be in this position. I'm going to give [whatever team drafts him] everything that I have."