Is BYU’s Zach Wilson Really the Perfect Quarterback for the New York Jets?


Is BYU’s Zach Wilson Really the Perfect Quarterback for the New York Jets?

There is always plenty of hype surrounding college players at the start of a new NFL season, and Zach Wilson is no different. The Brigham Young University QB is ranked at number two in the 2021 draft, only second to the mightily impressive Trevor Lawrence.  

This makes him a prime target for the Jets, seeing as they hold the number two pick this year. On paper, it’s a no-brainer – their previous franchise QB has been traded and they’re in desperate need of a fresh, ambitious player to scrape the team off the floor. But, is Wilson really the answer, or are NYJ clutching at straws?  

Quarterback-Friendly Schemes  

It's not unusual for franchisees to buckle under the pressure and draft a QB they don’t need because it’s a starring position and appeases the fans. But in this case, there’s more to Zach Wilson at the Jets than meets the eye.  

Sure, they don’t have a quarterback and it would be criminal to start the season without one, especially as they are only trumped by the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, the reality is that Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur are going to introduce one of the friendliest offensive schematics for a QB in the league. Saleh himself has confirmed this.  

Considering Wilson’s skill set, there’s no doubt that the emphasis will be on him to make vertical and play-action plays, something his intelligence and arm strength allow him to do with ease. The fact that BYU played a similar West Coast style of football should only showcase Wilson’s ability to make the transition from the college ranks to the greatest league of them all.  

A Mahomes Clone?  

There has been lots of talk about how Wilson is a quarterback in the mould of Patrick Mahomes, the man who is now the undisputed king of the National Football League. As a result, franchises are searching for the next star, a person that has his capabilities, and it appears as if the experts believe that Wilson fits the bill.  

Theoretically, Wilson is the whole package because he’s more than just a strong player. It’s his ability to move outside of the pocket and make clinical plays under pressure that make the BYU graduate a star in the making. With the right people by his side, the Jets could have a QB that is always in with a shot of firing a perfect spiral into the hands of a wide receiver or tight end.  

It's this ability that will take NYJ from has-beens to potential divisional contenders in the future. Currently, the sports betting market ranks them as 16/1 outsiders to win the division after poor campaigns in 2018, 19, and 20. But those odds will change when Wilson gets the time to step back, survey the field, and throw a laser into the end zone, just like Mahomes.  

College Education  

Not enough is made of the role of the college in the emergence of new NFL superstars. It's all about the NFL and how they have the talent, as opposed to the nurseries that afford them the coaching and game time that they require to hit the ground running.  

Of all the top colleges notorious for producing world-class talent, BYU might not be at the top of the list. Still, ever since they poached Wilson from Boise State University, their leading QB has never looked back. This includes becoming the youngest quarterback to start for BYU as a freshman and breaking Steve Young's completion percentage of 73.5 percent for the 2020 season.  

Thanks to his exposure to competitive college football, it’s hard to argue that Wilson doesn’t have the talent and work ethic required to be successful.  When you factor in his skillset, the ability to make plays on the move, and an attacking schematic formation, you can see why the New York Jets believe both have a promising future ahead.