Patience is the support of weakness and the continued belief in potential strength. It has been a rocky introduction to the NFL for the rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson. The captivating rookie flashed his potential all offseason, leaving Jets fans salivating for more. New York seems to be at the hands of yet another wasted season. This has diminished almost all hope for these poverty-stricken fans. One might think that I am being too harsh on these Jets fans, but I, too, am one of them. It has often felt like a curse to be a part of Gang Green, but I genuinely believe better days are ahead. There is no better time than right now to buy-low for the services of Wilson in dynasty leagues. It will take an abundance of patience and fortitude, but this is a risk worth taking for a future franchise QB.
A Star Is Born
In “The Lion King,” do you remember when Simba grew up and discovered his full strength and potential? He defeated his evil uncle and became King of Pride Rock. That is an admirable representation of Wilson’s senior season at BYU. The King of the Cougars was a different beast during his 2020 season. He finished the year with 33 passing touchdowns and added ten on the ground. He additionally ranked towards the top of the league in completion percentage and had an elite touchdown-to-interception ratio of 33 to three. Wilson did not take long to skyrocket up draft boards and become one of the most intriguing prospects of last year’s draft class.
Before being drafted by the Jets with the second overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, Zach held a workout for NFL scouts at his now alma mater. If you have not watched the highlights from this showcase, stop what you are doing and pull them up. The tape from it might be enough to make you a believer. He dazzled with his ability to flaunt every throw in the book, including some difficult no-look-side-armed tosses. Additionally, he effortlessly flicked an absolute bomb off of one foot that mirrored Patrick Mahomes.
A common criticism for Wilson doubters was his ability to handle NFL competition. Coming out of a smaller program, which faced sub-optimal competition, this was a more than valid cause for concern. After struggling through some offseason workouts and practices, preseason loomed for the young quarterback. Following a respectable preseason debut, Wilson made a huge splash in his second crack at it. In Week 2 of the preseason, Wilson completed 9-of-11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive win over the Packers. Besides being coined as “Mormon Mahomes” by Gang Green, Wilson received rave reviews from Aaron Rodgers. Heading into the regular season, he was suddenly viewed as the savior of this historically-plagued franchise. This is an immense amount of pressure to put on a 22-year-old who had yet to take an NFL snap. With the regular season in striking distance, the NFL community anxiously awaited the professional debut of the prized prospect.
It would be rash to rule Wilson’s rookie season a complete disaster. There have unquestionably been more disappointing days than bright spots, but he has flashed his potential several times thus far. The rookie was thrown headfirst into an inopportune situation of a brand new coaching staff, a revolving door of under-performing offensive line support, and a roster lacking true veteran leadership. This is what you would label a recipe for disaster. Even with these obstacles, fellow offensive rookies Elijah Moore, Michael Carter, and Alijah Vera-Tucker have emerged as budding superstars. This development would signal that better days are probably ahead for the entire offense. This includes the continued development of Wilson.
He has been a bit of a late bloomer throughout his entire football career. We would have never seen his true greatness if we had given up on him after his first two collegiate seasons. This is how we should be treating his NFL career. Wilson has also begun to show glimpses of growth during the second half of the season. There is a distinct stench surrounding the organization of the New York Jets. Wilson is indirectly treated unfairly due to this connotation. This season, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance have all had ups and downs but have not been critiqued as harshly as Wilson. He is not a prospect without flaws, but he has the drive and football IQ to be a franchise quarterback in this league. If you do not give a seed enough time, water and sunlight to grow, you will never get to witness the beautiful flower that it can become.
It is absolutely imperative to be patient with a young quarterback. Adjusting to the NFL is a tall task for all rookies, but especially those who come from smaller programs. The Jets have been the laughing stock of the league for as long as I can remember. Although their record does not represent it, there is a new aroma being formulated in New York. This team has the perfect new management, budding young talent and future picks to make an impact in the next few seasons. The Jets are currently projected to have two first-round-picks inside the top ten next draft. If the team makes the correct choices with these selections, get ready for take off.
It feels like a lifetime ago that fans were comparing Wilson to Mahomes during the preseason. This was most likely a huge overreaction. These same critics are now labeling him a bust before he finishes his first professional season. This feels like an even greater overreaction. Please take advantage of this and buy low on the services of Wilson while he is still learning how to become a professional quarterback in this league. Once he discovers his full strength, the sky’s the limit for the captivating rookie.
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