BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, widely projected as the second overall pick in next month’s NFL draft, delivered an impressive pro day Friday as three teams with top-12 picks made trades that could impact the quarterback order.
With 31 teams represented in Provo, Utah — all but the Los Angeles Rams — Wilson displayed the arm strength that sparked his breakout season for the Cougars. He dazzled with a few off-balance throws that went 50 yards.
“The goal today was to kind of show what makes me different, the type of throws I can make that I feel like other guys don’t practice and don’t try to do,” Wilson said afterward on a Zoom call. “That was the goal — to show what makes me different.”
The New York Jets, who own the No. 2 pick, were represented by general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch also was present. The Atlanta Falcons, picking fourth, had GM Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith on hand.
During Wilson’s workout, news broke that the 49ers had traded up with the Miami Dolphins, jumping from No. 12 to No. 3 — putting them in position to draft Jimmy Garappolo’s successor. (Subsequently, the Dolphins moved back up to No. 6 in a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.) Lynch might not get a shot at Wilson, though. The Jets, perhaps looking to replace Sam Darnold, could take him at No. 2.
After his workout, Wilson chatted briefly on the field with Douglas.
“Great staff. Love those guys,” Wilson said of the Jets, who have interviewed him on Zoom calls. “Joe Douglas is a great guy. It was good to see him out here. They’ve got a good thing going.”
The presumptive top pick is Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, the expected choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wilson, who threw 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions last season, may have solidified the No. 2 spot, ahead of Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
Wilson, listed by BYU at 6-foot-3, was measured at 6-foot-2, alleviating concerns among scouts that he wouldn’t make it to that mark. He weighed 214 pounds. He didn’t run a 40-yard dash or participate in any field drills because he recently tweaked a hamstring, he said, adding that he’d perform drills on film for teams that requested them.
During the scripted workout, he threw no fewer than 70 balls. About seven were off-target and there were a few drops.
“I missed a couple,” Wilson said. “Too many balls on the ground, things I have to clean up.”
Wilson believes he proved his surgically repaired shoulder is fine.
“I feels great, no issues,” said Wilson, who had surgery before the 2019 season. “It was stronger than it was before. I’m glad I got it done. Now, coming out here and showing these coaches that swag, what you’re all about.”