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BYU's Wilson could be perfect QB for Shanahan, 49ers at No. 3

/ by Jennifer Lee Chan
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Zach Wilson did not confirm speaking to 49ers personnel, but general manager John Lynch visibly was in attendance at BYU’s Pro Day on Friday. 

The 49ers clearly have shaken up what will happen on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft, making a blockbuster trade for the No. 3 overall selection. Wilson, who is projected to be selected at No. 2, might end up not being an option for the 49ers, but the club still is doing their research. 

The former Cougars quarterback played 30 games over three seasons, completing 566 of his 837 attempts for 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Wilson is known for his arm strength while also being mobile enough to get out of trouble in the pocket. 

“Something I feel that separates me is just my passion for the game,” Wilson said. “I really put a lot of time into what I do. Throughout all the years I’ve dedicated my life to football. It’s crazy, when people ask me what I do outside of football, football is really my life. It’s everything I’ve got going on.” 

Wilson could be a kindred spirit to Kyle Shanahan, who also lives, breathes, eats and sleeps football. The head coach famously has spent nearly an hour dissecting a single play for his players in team meetings. This attention to detail is what the coach looks for in his players.

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Part of Wilson’s success is due to him being a film junkie. He shared that someone he has watched very closely is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. 

 

“He is definitely someone I will be watching,” Wilson said. “My junior year last year, he was a huge part of my mental success that I feel like I have the ability to throw the ball into spots where maybe you think someone is covered but they are really open. 

“I really did a lot of studying on the way he played the game. I think he did at all the right way. He knew exactly what he was doing on every play. He took what the defense gave him and extended plays down the field. I learned a lot from what he did.”

Wilson did confirm speaking to New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas and ex-49ers defensive coordinator and Jets head coach Robert Saleh among other Jets team personnel. The AFC East club currently sits one spot above the 49ers with the No. 2 overall pick. 

“I’d be happy to play for any team that drafts me,” Wilson said.  

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