It’s no surprise, but Zach Wilson is headed to the New York Jets with the second overall pick. It was evident the franchise planned to go after a quarterback early after trading three-year starter Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in early April. The Jets have been looking for a surefire franchise quarterback for years, and they hope they’ve landed one with Wilson, the former QB for the BYU Cougars.
Wilson had by far his best season in his three years at BYU in 2020. The Cougars managed to get 12 games in despite not being in a conference during a COVID-19 impacted college football season. Their competition took a step down from what they had expected, but he made the most of it. Wilson completed 73.5% of his passes for 3,692 yards with 33 touchdowns and three interceptions, guiding his team to an 11-1 record.
Wilson was a very exciting player to watch at the college level with his ability to extend plays and get creative when needed. That style doesn’t always translate at the NFL level with bigger, faster and stronger defenses, but he has the arm talent to make all the throws as a professional and the athleticism to make plays with his legs. Wilson will need to understand he cannot rely on chaos to be an elite quarterback in the pros but with good coaching, he has the talent to excel with the Jets.
Fantasy football impact
It’s very likely Wilson will be the starting quarterback for the Jets from Day 1 because they do not have any proven options at the position. If things stay the same with the current roster, New York will open the season without a quarterback who has experience in a regular season NFL game, so Wilson should play early. From a fantasy perspective, Wilson will probably not be a factor in Year 1 as most quarterbacks take time to develop in the NFL, and there hasn’t been much reason to trust a Jets quarterback for a long time.
Developing a quarterback has been a major struggle for this franchise, but Wilson has the talent to overcome the issues the Jets have had at the position. For a successful long-term future with New York, the front office will need to hit on several players on the draft board because this is a team that needs a lot of help at many spots. For Wilson, that likely means adding a few playmakers at the skill positions to make for an easier path to long-term fantasy success.