The New England Patriots will almost certainly draft a quarterback at some point during the 2021 NFL Draft. There are rumors the pick could be for BYU star Zach Wilson. The young gunslinger was asked about playing for the Patriots recently. He had a lot to say about the team and its current quarterback Cam Newton.
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Zach Wilson Knows How He’d Approach Playing For the Patriots
Playing in New England isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, especially prospective rookies. However, when Wilson was asked by Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio how he felt about potentially playing for the Patriots, the 6’3″, 21-year-old junior seemed to be comfortable with the concept.
His response was, “that’s cool.” He offered more, which you can see in the caption of the photo below from Pats Nation 365.
You can hear the entire interview here:
Zach Wilson on Cam Newton
Wilson had some interesting things to say about Newton. He was complimentary of the 2015 NFL MVP and current Patriots starter, but he also said that Newton had a lot to prove.
That’s an interesting take from a player who has yet to play a down in the NFL. While it’s unwise to read too deeply into things a 21-year-old says in this kind of a situation, it’s notable that Wilson has this sort of take about a veteran in the league.
All that said, it’s unlikely the two would ever be teammates. The reason being, if the Patriots did use the requisite first-round pick to select Wilson in the 2021 NFL Draft, it would likely mean the team has moved on from Newton. I believe Newton has shown, and will likely continue to show enough for him to land a job with someone else in 2021 even if the Patriots don’t re-sign him.
However, it seems unlikely he would be inclined to return to the Patriots in this sort of a role where he is essentially mentoring Wilson and keeping the seat warm for his successor. Newton is still only 31 years old, and wouldn’t be crazy to think of himself as having three or four more years of life left in his NFL career.
He may not be ready to hold a clipboard.
Zach Wilson is Climbing Draft Boards
At one point, the only two quarterbacks you heard discussed as potential franchise players at the position from this draft were Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Now, we’ve seen a surge of players like Alabama’s Mac Brown, Florida’s Kyle Trask, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, and Wilson.
The latter has received some criticism for facing less-than-stellar competition, as has Lance, but Wilson’s recent dissection of Boise State’s defense has helped to legitimize him as a top prospect.
That explains why many draft prognosticators are placing him on their big board.