Zach Wilson has come under a lot of fire lately, but it really isn’t all his fault.
Yes, I’m his biggest critic, but at the same time balance has to be maintained.
First off, let me say everything this quarterback did with the Jets, he did with BYU.
Wilson looks identical nozzles‘Feature film as he looked in college, just not as confident.
Nothing he did came as a surprise to me, which is why I gave him a third-round mark 53 days before the draft, calling him a “surefire bust.”
So who is really to blame for how things turned out?
Is it Wilson or is it the organization that ran the red lights and overrated him?
No doubt Wilson will take primary blame, but as a former Jets pro scout, I believe team general manager Joe Douglas needs to take responsibility for what he believed to be a franchise quarterback.
All the clues were there when Wilson was in college.
Then why didn’t Douglas see her?
Downfield accuracy issues
The first big clue was Wilson’s rank as the ninth-highest passing yardage leader in BYU history, behind a list of mostly unknowns.
Aside from quarterbacks Steve Young, Jim McMahon, and Ty Detmer, most of BYU’s top 10 leading passers are names that most fans would never recognize.
Names like Max Hall, John Beck, Robbie Bosco, John Walsh and Kevin Feterik all rank ahead of Wilson on BYU’s all-time ranking of passing yards.
From there, the feature film told the rest of the story.
Before the 2021 NFL Draft, I went back and looked at all of Wilson’s shots from his final season at BYU. i found this Feature film on YouTubeit was that easy to find and evaluate them.
“I’ve watched every shot and run of his in 2020 and I don’t see or feel it on this guy in terms of arm strength, touch, ball placement or accuracy,” I wrote a draft for NFL Draft Diamonds. “Half of his throws look great and the other half look ‘unfriendly’ or downright bad to the receiver. Many passes were high or low and either incomplete or giving receivers literally no chance of gaining additional yards. It was literally and consistently like watching two different quarterbacks throw. He’s going to be an interception machine in the NFL.”
Has Douglas seen his feature film?
Navy, Troy, Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Houston, Texas, Western Kentucky, Boise, North Alabama, Coastal Carolina, San Diego and UCF.
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These are the opponents Wilson faced in his final collegiate season as he lined up his “big numbers” in 2020.
He’s completed 73.5% of his passes, 33 touchdowns and 3 interceptions this season, which sounds impressive until you factor in the level of the competition.
Everyone in scouting knows that the strength of the schedule plays a role in determining a prospect’s final score. This is especially true when a higher ranked prospect has generated good stats against lower competition.
BYU had the No. 67 college football pick on the schedule in Wilson’s final pre-draft season.
This is where it gets really interesting…
Wilson’s numbers were even more down-to-earth in his first two seasons at BYU. In fact, his numbers in that span look a lot closer to his numbers in his first two seasons with the Jets.
He completed 62.4% of his passes with 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 2019 against the No. 71 schedule.
He completed 65.9% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in 2018 and played the No. 61 ranked chart.
Wilson also played a much lighter schedule than quarterbacks Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Mac Jones (Alabama), who were picked after him in the first round in 2021.
Did Douglas weigh Wilson’s level of college competition when evaluating him?
Leadership question before design
Wilson’s uncle, David Neeleman, is the founder of JetBlue, the official airline of the Jets.
It’s fair to say that Wilson grew up with money.
This led me to my number one documented question in this draft.
Did Wilson have entitlement?
When Wilson learned that Jets head coach Robert Saleh benched him last week, his response was, “Why me? Why now? I want to play.”
Wilson’s unrehearsed response suggests he did.
Did Douglas consider that?
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