Is Zach Wilson the key to turning the New York Jets around?

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2). Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2). Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports /

Zach Wilson has loads of upside, but is the young quarterback the key to turning the New York Jets around? 

There’s really no other way to put it: the New York Jets have been quite bad for some time now. Every time we think they are about to turn things around, we end up being sorely disappointed with the outcome.

After a 4-12 season in 2014, New York nearly had a playoff berth in 2015 with a 10-6 record. However, they fell just short. Instead of building on their success in the following years, the Jets have a record of just 23-57 over the past five seasons – winning an average of just 4.6 games per year.

Adam Gase didn’t help their cause. Though he was only with the team for the past two seasons, he did next to nothing to turn this franchise around, as the Jets sat on a 2-14 record last year. Still, perhaps the biggest problem with this organization is that they haven’t had great quarterback play in a very long time.

From 2009 to 2011, the Jets combined for a winning record and had a talented roster that included a very good defense. However, with Mark Sanchez at the helm, you can only get so far, and New York lost in the AFC Championship Game in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010.

After streaming quarterbacks for a few years from 2014 through 2017, the Jets spent their top draft choice on Sam Darnold in 2018. Darnold was meant to be the answer to the suffering this team had endured. However, the ownership clearly failed him, as Darnold had no notable talent around him to begin his career.

Three years later, Darnold was dealt with the Carolina Panthers. Now, the New York Jets will attempt to right their wrongs with quarterback, Zach Wilson.

Why Zach Wilson could be the answer for New York Jets

After a remarkable 2020 season at BYU that included 43 total touchdowns and just 3 interceptions, Wilson soared up draft boards. Some analysts even had him slated over the Trevor Lawrence – one of the highest-graded quarterbacks to ever be drafted.

At just 21 years old, Wilson will be given the difficult task of trying to fix the sinking ship that is the New York Jets. Fortunately, he won’t be doing this alone. After striking gold on offensive tackle Mekhi Becton in the 2020 NFL Draft, New York traded back into the first round of this year’s draft to secure USC standout offensive lineman, Alajah Vera-Tucker. Kudos to them for learning from their past mistakes.

In addition to this, the Jets aggressively pursued wide receiver Corey Davis in free agency, while also adding two rookie playmakers in Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore and North Carolina RB Michael Carter.

Before ever playing a game, Wilson is being set up for success better than Darnold ever was. However, none of this matters if he doesn’t turn out to be the quarterback everyone hopes he can be. Fortunately for Jets fans, I think they finally found a franchise quarterback they can really be happy with.

At 6’2” and 214 pounds, Zach Wilson isn’t a big guy, but in today’s NFL, there’s no evidence that stature even matters. Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes both stand at 6’2” on the dot, yet have two of the best arms in all of football. Wilson is likely to join that club. While he probably will never be on the same level as these two passers, he has all the arm talent you could ever hope for in a quarterback.

What makes him a better prospect than Sam Darnold is that he’s never afraid to throw the ball down the field. For too long, the Jets have had quarterbacks that have been okay with dinking and dunking their way down the field. With Wilson, I think they can expect a much higher offensive ceiling in the near future with his ability to win down the field.

Next. Cleveland Browns focus on value in 2021 NFL Draft class. dark

In the end, the New York Jets still haven’t been a very good franchise, but I love the moves they have been making in an effort to turn things around. Zach Wilson is an immensely talented quarterback prospect and the key to turning over a new leaf.