Though the 2021 No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence stole most of the headlines from the 2021 NFL Draft and was considered to be NFL-ready from the get go, it turns out the No. 2 pick, Zach Wilson, is looking pretty ready too.
Yes, we heard about his late arrival to New York Jets camp, a brief holdout because of wrangling over the rookie contract terms.
We also got the news updates that Wilson was off to a slow start when he did get to camp.
There may have been concerns behind the scenes, but those were quickly alleviated after the first Jets preseason game against the New York Giants.
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 19, 2021
Wilson was poised and looked like a veteran in the Giants game.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 15, 2021
How Would He Do Against Green Bay?
Wilson and the Jets traveled to Lambeau for joint practices.
He wisely took the opportunity to talk with one of the best to ever play the quarterback position.
Aaron Rodgers giving some wisdom to Zach Wilson
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) August 18, 2021
Aaron Rodgers complimented Wilson.
Aaron Rodgers likes what he sees in Zach Wilson 💯
Jets got a good one 🔥 pic.twitter.com/EUI2OZqVSt
— NFL on ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsNFL) August 23, 2021
Huddling with Rodgers and getting his ringing endorsement are good things, but could Wilson back it up with good play in his second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers?
Yes he did.
Zach Wilson’s first half vs. Green Bay:
🔥 9/11 pass completions
🔥 128 YDS
🔥 2 TDs
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) August 21, 2021
Coach Saleh On Wilson
Head coach Robert Saleh said Wilson is “light years ahead” of normal rookies.
“He’s been going through his progressions and he’s been pretty good at that. What you saw today was more the same of what we’re seeing, and I know sometimes the result’s not what we want. His process is light years ahead of what a normal rookie’s process will be. For him it’s the results sometimes will be good, sometimes will be bad, and he’s just got to continue to find ways to get better when he sees both.”
What Does It Mean?
The jury is still out on the fab five quarterbacks of the 2021 NFL Draft.
They are Lawrence, Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones.
Playing regular season games, staying healthy, and improving their skills will be vital.
Wilson is off to a great start with an organization that had a good prospect just a few years ago.
This is not meant to be a comparison of Wilson and Sam Darnold.
However, it is a reminder that the Jets organization needs to be patient and while exercising that patience, the Jets should be putting the pieces around Wilson to foster his success.
Jets fans have to understand and accept developing a competitive team is a process that usually takes more than one year.
Let Wilson grow into the role, gain valuable experience, and make rookie mistakes.
By doing so, he has the potential to be the franchise quarterback the Jets have been longing for.