49ers NFL Draft: Top 5 Round 1 targets after blockbuster trade

Zach Wilson #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Zach Wilson #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Zach Wilson, BYU Cougars
Zach Wilson #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

1. player. 861. . Quarterback. Cougars . Zach Wilson

No. 1: Quarterback Zach Wilson, BYU

Late in 2020 and even during the first weeks of 2021, the 49ers were fully in play for Zach Wilson, who was initially being viewed as a mid-Round 1 selection.

But Wilson’s ascent towards the very top of the draft order, likely the second quarterback selected behind Trevor Lawrence, has been notable.

Wilson might not be the dual-threat signal-caller like Trey Lance and Justin Fields. But he has the pro-system knowledge and also flashed both tremendous accuracy and ball protection, particularly during his final year with the Cougers:

Zach Wilson Passing Table
Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2018 Brigham Young Ind FR QB 9 120 182 65.9 1578 8.7 9.2 12 3 157.2
*2019 Brigham Young Ind SO QB 9 199 319 62.4 2382 7.5 6.9 11 9 130.8
*2020 Brigham Young Ind JR QB 12 247 336 73.5 3692 11.0 12.6 33 3 196.4
Career Brigham Young 566 837 67.6 7652 9.1 9.7 56 15 162.9

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Generated 3/26/2021.

There’s also the reported news by The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, saying general manager John Lynch and assistant GM Adam Peters were both onhand to attend BYU’s pro day, which included Wilson doing his thing.

Maybe that was the kicker to convince the 49ers to trade up to No. 3 and to eventually move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, too.

The X-factor, of course, is what the Jets do with the No. 2 overall pick. They, too, could have eyes on Wilson as their heir apparent for their starter, Sam Darnold, although one could potentially see through the non-news and wonder if Lynch was able to chat with former Niners defensive coordinator, now-Jets head coach Robert Saleh, to gauge whom Gang Green was eyeing with the second overall selection.

Doubtful the Jets would reveal anything, but it’s always possible. And if the answer was Fields, then San Francisco would fully be in play for Wilson at No. 3 overall.

Regardless, the 49ers’ NFL Draft plans for 2021 just got wholly interesting and much more entertaining than they were a week ago at this time.

3 perfect Kyle Shanahan-type players in 2021 NFL Draft. light. Hot