Zach Wilson was a polarising QB coming out in 2021. Much of his hype seemed to come from one great throw on his pro-day, but his adjustment to the NFL has been far less impressive.
Rookie seasons are often tough for quarterbacks, and Wilson was certainly one of them. Completing just 55.6% of his passes with 9 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, he finished his rookie campaign with a 3-10 record.
Zach Wilson bouncing back in year 2? Er, No!
So the Jets were expecting much better from Zach Wilson in year 2. Progress can be a difficult thing to measure in a QB until they take, or don’t take, that magical leap we here so much about.
But for Wilson the evaluation seems to have been pretty simple, he’s got worse. Not just a little, but a lot.
Having missed the first three games with another injury, Wilson made his first start of the season in week 4 against Pittsburgh and looked ok. Against Miami in week 5 he looked potentially good.
The new Jets scheme, and great defensive gave him wins and made him not have to do everything himself. He threw 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions across those two games but the Jets put up 64 points.
But then the wheels fell off against Green Bay as Wilson completed just 55.6% of his passes and 110 yards…but the Jets still won.
The problem with Wilson is that he has looked horrible at times. His 6.0% turnover worthy play percentage ranks him second worst in the league. His 2.0% big time throw percentage is 32nd out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, both of those numbers are worse than in his rookie season. And when you get totally destroyed every time you play the Patriots, and you’re in the same division, things get rocky quickly.
And to make matters worse, sports info solutions rank him 27th out of 36th for catchable throws % at 81.6%.
His head coach Robert Saleh has publicly backed him, but does he really have a choice? Thanks to the defence the Jets will be too good to get a high pick in the draft so unless they trade the farm they are stuck with Wilson for a while yet.
But New York is one of the toughest crowds in all of football, and if Zach Wilson doesn’t turn things around soon expect the locals to call for his head before seasons end.
Zach Wilson’s upside clearly gives him a longer look than some may get, but with Baker Mayfield likely on the market in the offseason, the Jets may consider him a safer pair of hands with a much lower ceiling.
One thing is for sure the long Saleh sticks with Zach Wilson the more his job security hangs on his QB. And that can often force a coach’s hand. If Wilson doesn’t improve by seasons end things could get very sticky in New York.