It was The Throw that reigned.
You knew it was coming. The NFL flocked to see it, kind of teased. Curious.
Then Zach Wilson delivered.
During BYU’s pro day Friday, 31 of 32 NFL teams were represented in BYU’s indoor practice facility. The top item on the menu was to see Wilson throws firsthand. Knowing this, Wilson’s throw motion coach John Beck specifically designed the 60-some passes by Wilson to feature his broad range of throws, including arm strength, off-platform launch ability and his accuracy, albeit with no defense in front of him.
What they saw was artistry. One of the passes sent the NFL Network, SportsCenter and social media abuzz.
Overused, but completely deserved, phrases today during Zach Wilson's Pro Day:— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) March 26, 2021
Putting on a clinic
Oh my goodness
Look at that
It's on a line
Show and tell
It was a sprint right bootleg to the right hash that Wilson circled around to the other hash and while still moving, made a 60-yard pass to the opposite hash where he connected with Aleva Hifo in full stride inside the 10.
The Throw blew up social media within minutes.
NFL Network: “That’s the throw of the pro day season. He should stop right there, call it good.”
Geoff Schwartz, an eight-year NFL O-lineman, “Pac-12 Today” podcast host and NFL and college football analyst: “Can I write the tweets for Zach Wilson’s pro day now?”
“Electric arm. He’s a mix of Mahomes and Rodgers.”
“Pinpoint accuracy. He completed 67 of 68 passes.”
“Forget his size, he’s a powerful thrower.”
“Wow, look at that 70-yard throw.”
Chris Simms, NBC Sports: “The game is played on the field. But what we saw from Zach Wilson today, there is no comparison between his workout and Trevor Lawrence’s. It was out of this world awesome. The degree of difficulty of the workout was high and he made so many high-level throws.”
Jimmy Sullivan, sports editor of the Fordham Ram: “I just went from ‘Not sold on Zach Wilson’ to put in my order for my Zach Wilson jersey.”
I caught up with Beck just as he was boarding a flight to return home to California Friday afternoon. There, he works with 3DQB, and thus the well-worn tale of Wilson’s treks to see Beck all summer.
Beck specifically designed the 60-something throws for Wilson Friday to display Wilson’s extensive specialty work on unconventional situations, which has been the chatter about the BYU junior since the Boca Raton Bowl.
How many QBs at any level could make the throws Wilson performed Friday?
“Not many,” said Beck, who played for the Dolphins, Ravens and Washington after his BYU career.
“That’s why, I mean look, our kind of philosophy is to be the place that we train guys and we say look, there are throws that sometimes in a game you try to just kind of like pull off but it’s not things you necessarily practice.
“We’re going to do things and treat them like tools. Like Zach has practiced those throws a lot over the years and in the beginning they didn’t look like that, right? But he just kept going and so that’s why they look the way they do now. Not many guys can do it. People can try those throws here and there, but he’s gotten to a place where he can pull it out all the time.”
That throw turned into a centerpiece for the scouts on Friday. It was that unique.
Wilson has been working on that throw — to launch without having his feet set — for years. It takes tremendous strength, body control and mechanics to summon up enough velocity to make it work outside a foundation.
If you asked Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence to make that throw, he couldn’t do it that accurately, if at all.
Lawrence tweeted out: “Sheesh!”
And that’s why Beck and Wilson put it in. To make a statement.
“There is only one quarterback I know of who could make that throw across his body that far and accurate and that is Patrick McHomes,” said Wilson’s workout guru Dave Stroshine of Stroformance.
Twelve-year NFL veteran QB Dan Orlovsky tweeted: “I know it’s a pro day and all that — that’s one of the sickest throws I’ve ever seen in my life ... and I watch Stafford every day for 3 years.”
“We put that in there because we knew it’s a staple, that some of these teams like to take shots,” Beck said. “Zach wanted to do it. He said he wanted to throw it without getting his feet set. I said, ‘All right, let’s do it.’”
None of the scouts has a scrip of what was coming from Wilson and Beck. It just unfolded. But it was planned.
Beck said some of the scouts gave him instant feedback before he left the practice field. “They said, ‘We saw it flashed on tape but then to come out and watch it live? Wow, that was impressive.”’