The Jets are finally going to get their close-up with Zach Wilson.
The BYU quarterback will have his pro day Friday in Provo, Utah. Jets general manager Joe Douglas will be in attendance along with other representatives from the team. It is their first chance to see Wilson in person after COVID restrictions prevented scouts from attending college games in the fall and the NFL Scouting Combine was canceled.
For Douglas, this is a huge day in his quarterback decision. Douglas wanted to see the college quarterbacks up close before making a final decision on whether to draft one No. 2 overall or stick with incumbent Sam Darnold. After seeing Wilson on Friday and Ohio State’s Justin Fields on Tuesday, Douglas’ evaluation will be nearly complete.
The feeling in league circles is the Jets are going to trade Darnold and draft Wilson. There is a feeling among people around the league that Douglas is a fan of Wilson while members of the new Jets coaching staff are advocating for keeping Darnold. No matter how much debate occurs, though, this will be Douglas’ call in the end.
Wilson is a fascinating evaluation. He had a monster 2020 season for BYU. He completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. But there are questions about the level of competition he faced, with the Cougars playing teams like Troy, Texas State and North Alabama.
Wilson’s name skyrocketed up draft boards this year like Joe Burrow’s did last year. He was not even the clear-cut starter at BYU entering summer camp. He had to win the job after throwing 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2019.
“I can tell you this,” former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said, “and I’ve very confident in saying it: His physical traits, his physical talent, his ball placement, his flick of the wrist throws, his creativity, his torque upper body, those physical traits are what makes a good quarterback in the NFL right now. The two questions I have about Zach are, and I’m not privy to this: What kind of leader is he, and why wasn’t he voted a captain? Those are my two big questions.”
The captain question has been debated. He was not voted a captain by his teammates initially but was named to the team’s leadership council. He was named a captain before Week 1 after an injury to one of the other captains.
The Jets will get time to ask Wilson about that in pre-draft Zoom calls. There are no in-person interviews this year due to COVID restrictions.
On Friday, Douglas will get to see Wilson up close, see how the ball comes out of his hands, how he interacts with teammates and also see if he truly is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds as he is listed.