Zach Wilson has arguably generated more hype heading into the draft than any quarterback in what is viewed as a deep class. The same was true for Baker Mayfield, whom many view as similar to Wilson.
Both Wilson and Mayfield were able to pick defenses apart in college with their athleticism and ability to throw from outside the pocket. As one NFL executive told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, many also feel their personalities are similar. The question is whether or not that will be a good thing for Wilson.
“(Wilson has) a little bit of Baker Mayfield syndrome, where you like (the edge) to a point,” the exec told Pelissero. “It’s just whether or not you can control it and toe the line.”
Wilson has embraced the Mayfield comparisons on some level. He discussed his headband look in an appearance on ESPN last year, and he said it was inspired in part by Mayfield and Mayfield’s former Oklahoma teammates.
Mayfield was incredibly accurate at Oklahoma, completing 69.8% of his passes in three seasons. Wilson completed 73.5% of his passes as a junior last year, and throws like the one he made at his Pro Day (video here) were the perfect illustration of his potential. However, Mayfield threw a whopping 35 interceptions in his first two years in the NFL. Wilson is hoping he can adjust a little more quickly, but that is a lot easier said than done.
Like Mayfield three years ago, there has been some talk about Wilson’s character ahead of the draft. That shouldn’t stop him from slipping past the New York Jets at No. 2, but it will be something to monitor as he begins his NFL career.