The New York Jets are officially on the clock — well, sort of. With the Jacksonville Jaguars all but guaranteed to select former Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and the Jets recently trading veteran quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers, the clock is now ticking for New York to select its next quarterback of the future.
With many throughout the NFL media landscape zeroing in on former BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson for the Jets at second overall, it appears as though something will need to drastically change between now and the 2021 NFL Draft in order for “Gang Green” to switch things up. However, this is quite the talented NFL Draft class — especially under center — as the Jets will have no shortage of options at No. 2.
Even though Wilson appears to be the choice for the Jets, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some other noteworthy possibilities for New York as the lowly AFC East franchise looks to change course in a hurry.
QB Zach Wilson, BYU
With Trevor Lawrence serving as the best player in college football all season long, the legendary collegiate signal-caller will no doubt come off the board at No. 1. With the New York Jets and Jaguars vying for the worst record in the NFL all year long in 2020-21, it was ultimately Jacksonville that won the Lawrence sweepstakes. However, the “Gang Green” remains in pretty good shape considering the quarterback talent behind the former Clemson standout.
Former BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson strung together quite the impressive 2020-21 campaign en route to surpassing the likes of former Ohio State Buckeyes QB Justin Fields, former North Dakota State Bison quarterback Trey Lance among others. Wilson is an incredibly athletic prospect that can really throw the football all over the field in addition to possessing the ability to shred opposing defenses with his legs as well. An all-around high-caliber prospect with a ton of upside. Wilson will be thrown into the fire in East Rutherford, and it will be interesting to see if he can handle bumping up to the NFL threshold right off the bat.
It’s most likely that he will begin the 2021-22 campaign as the Jets starting quarterback following the trade of Sam Darnold to the Panthers. All of Wilson’s shortcomings will be on full display as his confidence will need to shine bright in order for him to come out of his rookie season with more positives than negatives.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
If the New York Jets do not select a quarterback with the second overall pick, there are plenty of other options that would be more than suitable for a franchise that needs to rebound in a hurry. With the Alabama Crimson Tide sporting a pair of talented wide receiver prospects in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, both of which should come off the board well inside the top 10 come late April, former LSU Tigers wideout Ja’Marr Chase is often forgotten about. Chase sat out last season after a stellar season at LSU back in 2018-19, coupled with the fact that Smith won the Heisman Trophy, the former Tigers standout just hasn’t received the public attention that he definitely deserves.
It can be argued, very well, that Chase is the best all-around wideout in this year’s NFL Draft class. Many still have Chase projected to become the first wideout taken in the first round after seemingly every team sorts out its quarterback situation with the first four picks.
QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
When the Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence, it will then be down to Zach Wilson and former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields for the next spot. With the latter serving as the next best thing behind Lawrence for the better part of the college football season and NFL offseason, Wilson’s late push has seemingly landed him a job with the New York Jets.
However, New York wouldn’t be in bad shape with Fields either if the Jets do choose a quarterback. The former Ohio State standout no doubt knows how to lead a team both on and off the field. Capable from within the pocket or scrambling outside, Fields is yet another dual-threat quarterback that will surely find success atop the highest level whether it is with the Jets or elsewhere. Nonetheless, the Jets need to be absolutely certain that Wilson is their guy if New York is going to pass on a player like Fields.