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BYU’s Zach Wilson Becomes Odds-On Favorite to Be 2nd Overall Pick in 2021 NFL Draft

Curtis Rush

by Curtis Rush in NFL Football

Feb 22, 2021 · 1:44 PM PST

Zach Wilson throwing
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson looks for a receiver during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against San Diego State on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/George Frey, Pool)
  • Zach Wilson is now the odds-on favorite to be selected #2 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft
  • Justin Fields was neck-and-neck with Wilson, but he’s faded to odds of +200
  • See updated odds for all top prospects to be selected second overall within the article below

Four quarterbacks are expected to be taken high in the NFL draft at the end of April, and with Trevor Lawrence the consensus choice to be the top selection in the NFL Draft odds, eyes have shifted to what the Jets will do with the second pick.

It’s still hard to predict what the Jets have planned for QB Sam Darnold, but it’s hard to think they have complete faith remaining with the USC product after his up-and-down first few seasons.

With multiple pundits still split on who GM Joe Douglas is likely to take, oddsmakers have moved BYU’s Zach Wilson to the odds-on favorite.

Odds to Be 2nd Overall Pick in 2021 NFL Draft

Player Odds
Zach Wilson -167
Justin Fields +260
Trey Lance +700
Penei Sewell +800
Trevor Lawrence +1300
Ja’Marr Chase +1400
DeVonta Smith +2000
Rashawn Slater +5000
Micah Parsons +7000
Kyle Pitts +7000

Odds taken at DraftKings on Feb. 22

Wilson Has Surged Ahead of Fields and Others

10 days ago, Wilson was at +100 odds to be taken No. 2 by the Jets, while Fields was at +155. The implied probability of Wilson going No. 2 were 50%. Now they are 62.55%.

Offensive lineman Penei Sewell was the third betting choice then (+313), while Trey Lance (+500) and Ja’Marr Chase (+1000) rounded out the top five.

Knowing the Jets’ terrible history of drafting quarterbacks, nothing would surprise us, although it appears less likely they would jump in with Justin Fields over Zach Wilson.

There is a debate about whether the Jets will trade down with the intention of keeping Darnold and surrounding him with better players. But oddsmakers still believe the Jets take Wilson at No. 2 after Jacksonville grabs Lawrence. The thinking is that the Jets new head coach, Robert Saleh, will want to start fresh.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas didn’t draft Darnold, and the new coaching staff led by Saleh and Mike LaFleur has no connection to him either. And you would think a large segment of the fanbase would go ballistic if the Jets don’t go with Wilson.

Rave Reviews for Wilson

Who believes Wilson would be a good fit at No. 2? Well, BYU coach Kalani Sitake likes that idea.

“I recruited him,” Sitake told NBCSports.com, “and I recruited him late, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. . . . I’m excited to see where the next stop will be for him, because I think he’ll do really, really well there.” He believes Wilson has the right mental makeup to be a franchise QB.

Here is what Pro Football Focus said about Wilson: “There is no reason to be concerned about the cupcake schedule Wilson faced in 2020 — the BYU quarterback made NFL-level throws at an incredible rate every time he stepped on the field.”

Others like USA Today have Wilson going No. 4 to the Atlanta Falcons, while NBC Sports tabs Wilson going No. 6 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Bleacher Report also projects the Jets selecting Wilson at No. 1.  According to BR, “Wilson’s ceiling is higher (than that of Justin Fields). He has a far better arm than Fields and does a lot that resembles Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray’s games.”

Best Bet: Zach Wilson going No. 2 (-167)

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