As the New York Jets look to reset their franchise hopes once again, there’s a lot riding on whether former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson can develop into a star.
The Jets selected him with the second overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, so anything less than multiple Pro Bowl appearances will unfortunately be viewed as a disappointment in the Big Apple.
The pressure will be on Wilson from the first day of training camp, and while he has some impressive physical skills, there is also room for hesitation about his future prospects.
Let’s take a look at three reasons why Wilson might be overhyped, and not meet expectations with the Jets.
"We got some amazing coaches that put us in some great situations."
— New York Jets (@nyjets) June 6, 2021
3. He Only Really Had One Great Season In College
The sample size for most players heading into the NFL isn’t all that large, considering athletes can only really play three to four years at their university.
Teams have to make important, big money decisions on small sample sizes, which is why the NFL Draft will always be an inexact science.
But the evidence supporting Wilson’s case as a can’t-miss star quarterback is awfully tiny.
He had a fantastic year in 2020, throwing for 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions, and added 10 more scores on the ground.
That type of season should absolutely wet the beak of NFL scouts, but what about Wilson’s sophomore and freshman seasons?
His rushing production in those years was practically non-existent, and his passing output was not exactly special.
In 2019, he threw 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and in 2018 he wasn’t asked to air the ball out.
It will be a lot to ask the 21-year-old to replicate his 2020 season against much stiffer competition.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) June 3, 2021
2. He Already Has Medical Red Flags
Arguably the most valuable piece of a quarterback’s anatomy is his arm or his shoulder.
Cheeky comments aside, the BYU prospect has already needed a corrective procedure to one of those areas.
Wilson had surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder while at BYU, which had been a nagging problem since his days in high school.
He was able to manage it for his freshman season with the Cougars, but went under the knife before his sophomore season began.
But the fact that Wilson has already required surgery on a pretty essential part of his body is some cause for concern.
1. He Vaulted Up Draft Boards After College Football Season Ended
As the tank-a-thon raged on down the stretch of the 2020 NFL season, it was clear that the grand prize of losing as many games as possible was Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.
However, there were other consolation prizes discussed in November, December, and January.
Oregon’s Penei Sewell was viewed as the top left tackle prospect, and Ohio State’s Justin Fields was a popular pick to be the second quarterback off the board.
After all, Fields’ body of work in the most difficult conferences in the country lent itself to him producing at the next level.
Wilson was certainly always viewed as a first-round talent, but his stock really took off during the offseason.
It’s not uncommon for that to happen, but keep in mind that Wilson didn’t play in any actual games to justify this newly heightened perception.
He dazzled at his Pro Day which is certainly better than the alternative, but the hype built largely with Wilson dressed in a t-shirt and shorts.