NFL Hot Press: Some Teams Have Makeup Concerns with Zach Wilson

Some Teams Have Makeup Concerns with Zach Wilson

Updated Dec. 23, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Recently, CBS reporter Jason La Canfora broke some interesting news that some NFL teams felt BYU quarterback Zach Wilson could go high in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and be the second quarterback selected after Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Since the end of the 2020 NFL Draft, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has been the consensus second-rated quarterback, but La Canfora quoted an executive who felt Wilson could go ahead of Fields. After reading that excellent report by La Canfora, followed up with team sources to see if they agreed with that contention. Multiple sources said it was possible that Wilson could go ahead of Fields and high in the first round, but they also said that some teams have character and makeup concerns with Wilson, so there could be some discrepancies across teams and a lack of consensus.

In speaking to a director of college scouting from a NFC team that is in the market for a new quarterback, he outlined the makeup concerns with Wilson:

    “Johnny Manziel comp without the [drugs]. [Wilson] is fun to watch, but is he a 1-year flash in the pan? He’s a backyard baller who is fun to watch.”

    “Someone will grab him in the first [round]. I doubt he gets to the second [round] because once the third quarterback goes, after Lawrence and Fields, there will be a run on them. [Wilson] has character concerns, rich kid who is an entitled brat – uncle owns Jet Blue -, parents are a pain, not a leader, selfish, and he’s a know-it-all.

    “His positives are that he’s super competitive, not to get scared and won’t back down, extremely confident, very smart with keen recall and teammates will play for him.”

That college director outlined the makeup of Wilson well, but his team is strict on character, so perhaps that plays into them having Wilson as the fourth quarterback.

In speaking to a director of college scouting from another team, they said this regarding Wilson in the first round:

“[Wilson]’s going to go high. He may rise to the second quarterback in the draft. I think he’s a second-rounder, but I just feel the quarterback spot is different than others and the round is just a starting point. The postseason process changes a lot. He is as talented as the rest, minus Lawrence.”

Rounding out the responses we got from team sources, here is what we heard. A third college director thought Wilson would go late in the first round or early in the second round. A player personnel director thought Wilson would go in Round 1, and a senior director of player personnel thought Wilson would go in the second round.

Thus there is big variety in prospect evaluation across the league, and those spreads can happen with quarterback prospects in particular. Add in that some teams have football-character concerns with Wilson, and he could have a big range in the 2021 NFL Draft from high in the first round to somewhere in the second round.