New England Patriots

Dec 22, 2020; Boca Raton, Florida, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson (1) attempts a pass against the UCF Knights during the first half at FAU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

The New England Patriots have no shot at Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, but the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft will have its other options should Bill Belichick & Co. want to take a chance at grabbing their quarterback of the future.

One of those options became official Friday, too, with BYU quarterback Zach Wilson Jr. declaring for the draft.

The 6-foot-3 Wilson compiled 7,659 passing yards with 56 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, along with 642 yards and 15 scores on the ground, during his three-season run with the Cougars. Wilson was at his best in 2020, too, with 3,692 passing yards with 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions, with seven games of at least three touchdowns, for a BYU squad that finished 11-1.

Wilson is considered by many to be the third-best quarterback prospect in this year’s class behind Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, and is slated by some to go around where the Patriots will be picking in this year’s draft.

It’s also worth mentioning that Wilson is apparently a Patriots fan. (Eyeball emojis to the moon.)

Of course, the idea of Wilson landing with the Patriots may be complete, unfounded nonsense. It’s currently unclear where the Patriots, who will enter the offseason with a ton of cap space and substantial draft capital, will go at quarterback this offseason.

And Belichick doesn’t seem very interested in tipping his hand.

But it does seem like veteran Cam Newton will be a one-and-done, and the Patriots’ limited use of Jarrett Stidham in 2020 may point to the Patriots’ lack of faith in him being the next man under center, so envisioning the Patriots making a move at the position in this year’s draft doesn’t seem that farfetched.

The 2021 NFL Draft will be held Apr. 29 through May 1.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.