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Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: Zach Wilson

Name: Zach Wilson

Position: Quarterback

School: BYU

Ht/Wt: 6-2/214

Hands: 9 1/2

How he fits: Lions general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell went to Provo to take in Wilson's pro day. Holmes says it's important when selecting in the top 10 – Detroit has the No. 7 overall pick – to have a good grasp on the quarterback talent because those players usually drive the top of the draft, especially this year.

"Things won't really surprise you so much when you start seeing that movement kind of go around in front of you, or whatever the case is, you're really not caught off guard," Holmes said last week.

The Lions are headed into the 2021 season with Jared Goff, 26, as their starter. They signed veteran Tim Boyle in free agency to be the backup, and are also continuing to develop David Blough. But that won't necessarily exclude them from drafting a quarterback if Holmes really likes one. It's the most important position in football. Hitting on a young quarterback, and getting the cap relief that comes with him playing on a rookie deal for five seasons, allows a team to really build up a roster around him.

Wilson showed off a cannon of an arm during his pro day and likely won't last until pick No. 7, but the draft is always unpredictable. He's coming off a 2020 season where he completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 3,692 yards with 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 12 starts.

Key observations: Wilson ranked second in the FBS last year in yards per pass attempt (11.0), second in completion percentage (73.5), and third in passing touchdowns (33).

He completed 54 percent of his deep throws and 68 percent of intermediate throws, per Pro Football Focus statistics. He's also an underrated athlete, rushing for 10 touchdowns last season.

What they had to say about him: "Wilson has average height and a lean/narrow frame for the quarterback position. He's an excellent athlete and generates several wow plays in every game I've studied. Wilson has a dynamic throwing motion. He carries the ball low but once his hands separate, the ball comes out in a hurry with a high level of RPMs. He's extremely accurate from a variety of platforms and arm angles. He makes some incredible throws while fading away with both feet off the ground, and he can drive the ball to the boundary from the far hash. He also uses his quickness and creativity to buy time to let his targets uncover. He's effective on designed QB runs, but that part of his game will need to be limited at the next level due to his lack of size.

"My only real concern with Wilson is durability. He's already been through shoulder surgery (after his freshman season) and he doesn't have an ideal frame. If he can stay healthy, his upside is enormous." – NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah

What he had to say: "Something I feel that separates me (from other quarterbacks in the class) is just my passion for the game," Wilson said at his pro day. "I really put a lot of time into what I do. Throughout all the years, I've really dedicated my life to football. It's crazy. People ask me what I do outside of football, and football is really my life. It's all I've got going on.

"[I'm] somebody that can extend plays, somebody that can make something happen outside of the offense when things break down, [it's] something I take a lot of pride in."

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