(CBSNewYork)- The Jets have found the man they hope to be their franchise quarterback. With the second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the organization selected BYU junior quarterback Zach Wilson. The Jets celebrated the pick on their Twitter account.
The 6'3" 210-pound Wilson was a three year starter for the Cougars who put together his best season as a junior in 2020. He led the team to and 11-1 record while throwing for over 3,600 yards and 33 touchdowns with just three interceptions while completing 73.5 percent of his passes. Over his three seasons at BYU, he threw for over 7,600 yards and 56 touchdowns with a 67.6 percent career completion mark.
His new teammate, Mekhi Becton, welcomed him to town with a tweet immediately after the pick was announced.
Described as having elite arm talent, Wilson showed the ability to make plays on the move and after the play breaks down at BYU, giving new Jets coordinator Mike LaFleur plenty of options in his play calling. There are some questions about how Wilson will fair when he's away from the Cougars offensive line which consistently gave him loads of time to operate in 2020. As Dan Schneier of CBSSports.com notes, he's not a finished product, but the ability to create may be the most important aspect of any quarterback's game in today's NFL.
"Wilson is nowhere close to a complete prospect or quarterback, and it's impossible to know what kind of impact playing behind an elite offensive line will have as he attempts to translate to the next level, but it's impossible to go more than a couple of series without seeing him complete NFL-level difficulty throws to all three levels of the field. Wilson also consistently demonstrates the ability to create plays with both his legs and arm outside of structure when the pocket breaks down, which is more important in the NFL now than maybe ever before."
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein describes Wilson's play as a mix of Jake Plummer and Johnny Manziel due to his ability to extend plays and turn them into big gains. But, he does see the quarterback making too many plays "off-schedule".
Wilson joins a Jets offense that added several weapons this offseason with the signings of wide receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole along with running back Tevin Coleman. The rookie won't have much competition for the starting job as the only other quarterbacks currently on the roster are James Morgan and Mike White.
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