The Detroit Lions continue to take a close look at the 2021 NFL quarterback class. According to Albert Breer of MMQB, both general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell are in town on Friday for BYU’s pro day, which features one of the top prospects in this year’s draft, quarterback Zach Wilson.
For many, Wilson is considered the second-best quarterback in this year’s draft, only behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Though Wilson didn’t have many accolades coming into 2020, he had an absolutely monster year for the Cougars. He completed over 73 percent of his passes for 11.0 yards per attempt, 33 touchdowns, and just three interceptions. Wilson has turned eyes with his impressive mobility (he also had 10 rushing touchdowns in 2020) and an arm that can make throws from all angles, no matter if he’s on platform or off it.
Of course, with a prospect so highly ranked, there’s a good chance he won’t be there when the Lions are on the clock with the seventh overall pick. Still, as Holmes has said multiple times this offseason, a general manager with a top-10 pick has to do their due diligence at every position—especially quarterback.
“When you’re picking inside the top 10, you’re not in a position to ignore any positions. You’re just not,” Holmes said. “So, the quarterback position is very important and if the value is there and the right guy is there, then he’d be in heavy consideration.”
It’s not every pro day in which a team sends both their head coach and general manager to watch. The Lions’ interest could be serious, and they certainly have the draft capital to make a move toward the top of their draft for Wilson. While a trade up may seem unlikely for a team with so many needs, the Lions have also sent both Holmes and Campbell to the pro days of Trevor Lawrence and Trey Lance. If the Lions are going to make a bold move like this—as the Rams did with Jared Goff years ago—they want to make sure everyone is on board.
“If we’re split down the middle, he’s not for us,” Campbell told The Athletic back in January. “I don’t want to chase a quarterback. I want somebody we know we love and can help us.”
Wilson won’t be the only attraction at BYU’s pro day. Offensive tackle Brady Christensen is expected to be a mid-round pick, while defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga and wide receiver Dax Milne are Day 3 options.