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2021 NFL redraft: Zack Wilson falls out of Round 1


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By Nick Baumgardner (Athletics)

When does a young player stop being, well, young?

Some argue a first-year NFL player can no longer be considered a rookie by the midway point of his first season. Others say it takes multiple years for prospects to mature. There’s no firm answer, but in today’s NFL, players entering their third full seasons are almost always firmly on the “show your worth or pack your stuff” seat.

For the here and now, that means we’re talking about players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Before teams get into training camp and start crunching rosters, let’s take a look back at that draft’s first round and find out which teams hit big — and which might want a redo.

(Note: The order here is as it was when Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft began, before any draft-day trades were made. San Francisco traded up to No. 3 prior to draft day, for example, so it picks No. 3 in this mock; the Giants traded No. 11 to Chicago during the draft, so the Giants are back in the No. 11 spot.)

 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Original pick: Lawrence

Perhaps the least-complicated selection here. No, I don’t think the Jaguars would pass on Lawrence for a shot at Micah Parsons if they could do it all again, which tells you how great Lawrence was last year and how much better he could be over the next three to five seasons.

Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow belong in their own tier among NFL quarterbacks. Lawrence, in my opinion, has joined Josh Allen and a healthy Lamar Jackson in the tier just below those two.

2. New York Jets: Micah Parsons, Edge, Penn State

Original pick: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Even after considering what Lawrence has shown through two years, you still could make the case for Parsons at No. 1. The Jets happily would switch their pick at No. 2.

Some people overcomplicated things with Parsons during the evaluation period, trying to label him as this or that. Quite simply, Parsons is a front-seven chaos machine — the most unique in football right now. Many teams already have started — and will spend the next several draft cycles — looking for their own dynamic, position-less version of Parsons.

3. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Original pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

I still think Lance can be a very good quarterback in this league, and maybe he’d even still be the 49ers’ pick here. It wouldn’t be Wilson, and I don’t think Mac Jones is a fit.

The concerns about whether or not Fields is going to “get there” are overblown, though. He’s had brilliant flashes on an awful team (one that should be better in 2022, mind you) and has improved on a daily basis.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Original pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

This feels like a toss-up. Atlanta might be totally fine with its original selection of Pitts, which eventually led to an intriguing pairing of Pitts and Drake London, but Chase is too good to pass up. His tool box is right there with former teammate LSU Justin Jefferson in terms of being as close to flawless as possible at the receiver position.

23. New York Jets: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Original pick (by Minnesota via trade): Darrisaw

When he’s been on the field, Horn has shown promise — enough of it to be as first-round pick. A top-10 selection as he was back in 2021, though? No.

Horn had a foot injury that limited his rookie year to three games, and though he picked off three balls and showed growth in 2022, he still played in just 13 games and then was limited in OTAs with an ankle issue. However, Horn’s injury situation hasn’t been as bad as Farley’s (the No. 22 pick originally), which is why he’s still in Round 1.

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I started a thread on Breece Hall yesterday, about a report of his possible delay in starting the season and it was deleted and the post was added to the Dalvin Cook thread by the moderators. That’s fine. No big deal.

But we come up with these bash Zach Wilson threads 3 times per day and they remain unchanged. The hatred and never ending narrative for Zach Wilson is pathetic. We have a good team that can possibly do big things this season. And yet here we are. 

 

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Seems rather obvious that, knowing now what we know and have seen since that draft, that historic-bust Zach Wilson would not be a first round pick in any hypothetical redraft.

With that said, he's a backup QB likely to be gone from the Jets before he ever gets a chance to be a starter again.  

Far more interesting will be who we next draft/acquire to inherit this roster after Rodgers is done here.

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The problem with taking edge instead of a QB in that draft is what to do at QB. Shuffling these picks wouldn't happen in a vacuum.

Keep the amazing Darnold? Without the picks from the Darnold trade last year's draft would not have been as good. 

If the Darnold trade happened, where were the Jets supposed to pick up a QB? A later round pick? Trade for a vet?

It was clear by then that Darnold was not the guy. As much as we can look back and see better overall players were available, it would be completely insane for a team without a viable QB but an early pick to let the first round pick go by without taking a shot at QB. 

 

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2 minutes ago, jgb said:

Man, calling a Jets QB a bust goes from “it’s too early to say that” to “beating a dead horse” in the blink of an eye.

I guess? I feel like most were on the Zach is a sh*tty QB train by mid-late season last year. So November/Decembish pretty solid percentage in the Zach sucks camp. We're already into orange NY wildfire apocalypse season bruh.

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Just now, Barry McCockinner said:

I guess? I feel like most were on the Zach is a sh*tty QB train by mid-late season last year. So November/Decembish pretty solid percentage in the Zach sucks camp. We're already into orange NY wildfire apocalypse season bruh.

I feel this. 

I think outside of a handful of Zach Stans on JN, we have all been in agreement that Zach is not worthy of starting at QB in the NFL since the Jaguars game at the very latest (and it was earlier than that for many on here). 

I wonder what percentage of posters on here wanted Zach to be the 2023 starter here before we traded for Rodgers? 10%? 5%? Less?

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7 minutes ago, UntouchableCrew said:

No issue with you being bullish on Fields but I think 32 out of 32 GMs would prefer Parsons.

That jets team kinda needed a QB   
 

it was Zach, white and some other guy with no nfl starts. Flacco came later. 
 

He went one pick later to a team loaded with pass rushers lol

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21 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

I guess? I feel like most were on the Zach is a sh*tty QB train by mid-late season last year. So November/Decembish pretty solid percentage in the Zach sucks camp. We're already into orange NY wildfire apocalypse season bruh.

 

14 minutes ago, slimjasi said:

I feel this. 

I think outside of a handful of Zach Stans on JN, we have all been in agreement that Zach is not worthy of starting at QB in the NFL since the Jaguars game at the very latest (and it was earlier than that for many on here). 

I wonder what percentage of posters on here wanted Zach to be the 2023 starter here before we traded for Rodgers? 10%? 5%? Less?

100%.

You can't conflate all Jets QB draft picks that bust.

Darnold had a lengthy honeymoon period because 1) he was a better prospect, 2) that 2018 team was rough and 3) he showed genuinely flashes.

Half the board was skeptical of Wilson from the jump and the second Mike White hung 400 on the Bengals A LOT of Jets fans were instantly asking questions.

I've been selling Wilson stock since October 2021 and I know I'm not alone. 

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7 minutes ago, Larz said:

That jets team kinda needed a QB   
 

it was Zach, white and some other guy with no nfl starts. Flacco came later. 
 

He went one pick later to a team loaded with pass rushers lol

I mean, if we're using hindsight, I think trading back with the 49ers was the move.

I don't think any of the QBs that went after Wilson are going to pan out long term.

But if we're sticking and picking I'd take Slater, Chase or Parsons over Fields for sure.

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38 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

I guess? I feel like most were on the Zach is a sh*tty QB train by mid-late season last year. So November/Decembish pretty solid percentage in the Zach sucks camp. We're already into orange NY wildfire apocalypse season bruh.

It ain’t beating a dead horse until all resistance is crushed and brought to heel

mountains dropping GIF by South Park

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11 hours ago, LAD_Brooklyn said:

By Nick Baumgardner (Athletics)

When does a young player stop being, well, young?

Some argue a first-year NFL player can no longer be considered a rookie by the midway point of his first season. Others say it takes multiple years for prospects to mature. There’s no firm answer, but in today’s NFL, players entering their third full seasons are almost always firmly on the “show your worth or pack your stuff” seat.

For the here and now, that means we’re talking about players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Before teams get into training camp and start crunching rosters, let’s take a look back at that draft’s first round and find out which teams hit big — and which might want a redo.

(Note: The order here is as it was when Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft began, before any draft-day trades were made. San Francisco traded up to No. 3 prior to draft day, for example, so it picks No. 3 in this mock; the Giants traded No. 11 to Chicago during the draft, so the Giants are back in the No. 11 spot.)

 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Original pick: Lawrence

Perhaps the least-complicated selection here. No, I don’t think the Jaguars would pass on Lawrence for a shot at Micah Parsons if they could do it all again, which tells you how great Lawrence was last year and how much better he could be over the next three to five seasons.

Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow belong in their own tier among NFL quarterbacks. Lawrence, in my opinion, has joined Josh Allen and a healthy Lamar Jackson in the tier just below those two.

2. New York Jets: Micah Parsons, Edge, Penn State

Original pick: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Even after considering what Lawrence has shown through two years, you still could make the case for Parsons at No. 1. The Jets happily would switch their pick at No. 2.

Some people overcomplicated things with Parsons during the evaluation period, trying to label him as this or that. Quite simply, Parsons is a front-seven chaos machine — the most unique in football right now. Many teams already have started — and will spend the next several draft cycles — looking for their own dynamic, position-less version of Parsons.

3. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Original pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

I still think Lance can be a very good quarterback in this league, and maybe he’d even still be the 49ers’ pick here. It wouldn’t be Wilson, and I don’t think Mac Jones is a fit.

The concerns about whether or not Fields is going to “get there” are overblown, though. He’s had brilliant flashes on an awful team (one that should be better in 2022, mind you) and has improved on a daily basis.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Original pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

This feels like a toss-up. Atlanta might be totally fine with its original selection of Pitts, which eventually led to an intriguing pairing of Pitts and Drake London, but Chase is too good to pass up. His tool box is right there with former teammate LSU Justin Jefferson in terms of being as close to flawless as possible at the receiver position.

23. New York Jets: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Original pick (by Minnesota via trade): Darrisaw

When he’s been on the field, Horn has shown promise — enough of it to be as first-round pick. A top-10 selection as he was back in 2021, though? No.

Horn had a foot injury that limited his rookie year to three games, and though he picked off three balls and showed growth in 2022, he still played in just 13 games and then was limited in OTAs with an ankle issue. However, Horn’s injury situation hasn’t been as bad as Farley’s (the No. 22 pick originally), which is why he’s still in Round 1.

i am not going to defend Zach Wilson, but imagine thinking that taking a RB to play QB third overall is a good idea....

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