Zach Wilson's Wonderlic: Analyzing the Jets QB's Pre-Draft Performance

Jets' Future at Stake with Wilson's Crucial Season.

by Faizan Chaudhary
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Zach Wilson's Wonderlic: Analyzing the Jets QB's Pre-Draft Performance
© Steve Marcus/Getty Images

The New York Jets just tried to solve their perennial quarterback problem yet again, this time hitching their hopes to Zach Wilson, the star from BYU, in the 2021 NFL draft. Although he wasn't expected to make an instant Pro Bowl, Wilson was largely seen as one day becoming a member of the league's elite quarterback class.

Still, with the 2024 NFL season on the horizon, Wilson seems about as far from that reality as ever. The Wonderlic Test was one of the aspects of the NFL's Draft Combine, which was conducted at Wilson's campus pro day as his way into the NFL.

Yet, due to the coronavirus pandemic and a move towards far more private testing protocols, Wilson’s score has not been shared – unlike those of other headline quarterbacks such as Josh Allen (37), Aaron Rodgers (35), and Dak Prescott (25).

It’s a rather fascinating bit of Wilson’s pre-draft evaluation. Selected second in the draft this year, behind only Trevor Lawrence, Wilson will bring high expectations to the professional stage. The scouting report dubbed him dynamic, a gunslinger type with a very good arm that's capable of getting the ball 50 yards downfield.

His game-breaking ability both in and out of the pocket in college was supposed to be transferable to the pro game. Scouts compared Wilson's style with a mixture of Johnny Manziel and Jake Plummer, marking the great mobility displayed by the player to escape pressure from defensive players.

Moreover, in the 2020 college football season, his record shows an 11:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, which is no less than that of Aaron Rodgers. However, the leap for Wilson to the NFL wasn't problem-free. His college film had a tendency to inconsistency for anticipation and excitement for chasing the big play while at times bypassing the safe play.

He was also noted to rely on his mobility to get out of sticky situations, as opposed to making judjson reads. Some scouts opined that refining these areas could push Wilson to be a dependable starter, integral to a playoff-worthy offense.

Strengths and weaknesses of Wilson going into the NFL:

  • Mastery in pocket maneuverability
  • Mobility that keeps defenses guessing
  • Exceptional touchdown-to-interception ratio reflecting high-level decision-making
  • Effective full-field scanning capability
  • Accuracy in off-balance throws Cons:
  • Tendency to lower the ball while running, increasing fumble risk
  • Over-reliance on 'hero ball' tactics
  • Mixed performance against top-25 college teams, with a 2-4 record
As the new season looms, the Jets and their fans eagerly await Wilson's evolution and impact in what promises to be a pivotal year for both the player and the team.

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