Facebook Twitter

Why Joe Theismann would draft BYU’s Zach Wilson over Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence

SHARE Why Joe Theismann would draft BYU’s Zach Wilson over Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence
merlin_2835868.jpg

BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson (1) passes during a game against the UTSA Roadrunners at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann, who won a Super Bowl in the 1980s, told “CBS Sports HQ” he would take Wilson over Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL draft.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

The quarterback debate in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft isn’t which signal caller will be taken No. 1 overall — Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is the overwhelming favorite to go first to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

One former Super Bowl-winning quarterback, though, said he’d take BYU’s Zach Wilson over Lawrence. Wilson is among a group of quarterbacks who are also projected as first-round talents, including Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones.

“Honestly, yes. (It’s) really close. We are sort of splitting hairs here a little bit, but I would (take Wilson over Lawrence) as a matter of fact,” Joe Theismann told host Amanda Guerra during an appearance on “CBS Sports HQ” during Super Bowl week.

Theismann won a Super Bowl with Washington in the early 1980s and was the 1983 NFL MVP. He’s worked in sports broadcasting since his retirement.

Wilson has been seen as a possible draft pick for the New York Jets at the No. 2 selection, along with Fields, if the Jets choose to move on from Sam Darnold, who recently wrapped up his third NFL season.

“He moves around with great athleticism. I think, to me, watching him play quarterback, he looks really ready.” — Joe Theismann, on Zach Wilson

Theismann explained what makes the dual-threat Wilson so appealing.

“I just love the way he throws the football. It is hard to teach. We have seen people learn to perfect it a little bit,” Theismann said. “He has all the skills; he has a live arm, he has a strong arm, he can put touch on it, he can gun it. He is 6-3 — he is not a small guy. He moves around with great athleticism. I think, to me, watching him play quarterback, he looks really ready.”

Lawrence, who led Clemson to a national championship as a freshman and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2020, is projected to be Jacksonville-bound. There, he would be coached by former Utah head coach Urban Meyer, who was recently hired to replace Doug Marrone.

Theismann also discussed why he would select Wilson over Lawrence.

“Trevor Lawrence is certainly a big kid who can run well, surrounded by terrific talent at Clemson. It is a little bit like Mac Jones at Alabama. They are surrounded by terrific talent and sometimes you look at that talent and say, ‘Did that help the position a lot?’” Theismann said. “I think in the case of Trevor, being a young guy and as strong and physical as he is, he will have a great opportunity to learn, as will Mac and all the young guys, Justin Fields, as well, out of Ohio State. 

“I just think coming into this particular draft, Zach checks all of the boxes for me. Personally, my choice. My guy. It looks like the Jets may be the ones taking him at 2, which potentially puts Sam Darnold on the market or somewhere else.”