Since the Jets have drafted BYU QB, Zach Wilson, expectations have been up and down. For some, he is a bust waiting to happen. For others, he is the savior of the Jets franchise. Realistically, both of these are unrealistic. His status as a QB from a small conference makes him a polarizing QB to predict. . That raises the question, what are realistic expectations for Wilson?
Wilson’s arm is his best trait. His natural arm strength along with a decent ability to put velocity on the ball make him a massive talent. Referring to velocity, he can put speed or great loft on a ball. Wilson also has a great ability to make throws off-platform. His abilities to extend the play and make throws to finish them are already exciting. Lastly, Wilson has a good ability to make deep throws and extend the field. All of these traits blend perfectly with a team that signed Corey Davis and Keelan Cole this off-season.
Although Wilson has some of these great abilities, he also has some holes in his passing game. The main one is his tendency to play “hero ball.” By this, we mean Wilson will look to make the big play too much. Too often does it show on film that he will throw a deep ball instead of his check down. If coached down by Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur, this could very well be a non-issue.
Another potential issue with Wilson and his hypothetical NFL success is his lack of good games against good teams. Against teams that won 10+ games, Wilson had a 1-7 TD-INT ratio. This is certainly a concern had former Jets QB Sam Darnold had a similar interception problem in college. Many people point to Wilson’s games against Coastal Carolina and Houston as games where Wilson struggled against good competition. We can definitely expect Wilson to make some rookie mistakes and throw bad interceptions. This is especially true considering the corners of the AFC East are some of the best in the league.
A surprising part of Wilson’s game is his ability to run. He runs a 4.8, which is solid but doesn’t jump off the screen. However, his sneaky athleticism allows him to run when plays collapse. This is a change for Saleh and LaFleur, but it’s a good chance. Saleh and LaFleur go from Jimmy Garoppolo to Wilson, thus opening their options with Wilson on board. Expect Saleh to incorporate Wilson heavily in the run game with Tevin Coleman.
Overall, expectations shouldn’t be too high for Wilson. While his ability to run and expand the field with his arms fits with Saleh, his turnover problem and lack of experience will hurt him. Personally, realistic expectations are around 3,500 yards, 20-25 TDs, 8-12 INTS, and 150-250 rushing yards. This would be a phenomenal first year in the New York Jets rebuild.