The first round of the 2021 National Football League (NFL) Draft will air on ESPN at 8 PM EST tonight. The New York Jets have the second-overall pick and draft experts from Daniel Jeremiah to Mel Kiper Jr. say they’ll pick Zach Wilson. The dashing young quarterback from BYU was third among college QBs in passing yards in 2020. The Jets will also have the 23rd pick in tonight's first round, which they received from the Seattle Seahawks in 2019 for safety Jamal Adams.
During the 2020 NCAA season, ESPN revealed that Wilson had the second-highest completion percentage behind Alabama’s Mac Jones, who is thought to be going top- 20 in this draft. Wilson was also third in D-1 Football in total yards passing with 3,600, which was behind Mac Jones again.
Like all other QB's to enter the draft, there is the question of; Who does this player remind me of? Chris Landry, a former NFL scout, Administrator, and Coach who ran the Scouting Combine, and oversaw the player selection process of '93 weighed in on where he believes Wilson is most similar to.
This may come as a surprise to many, but Landry sees Wilson as a Baker Mayfield.
"Wilson doesn’t have the biggest frame and he needs to play within himself a little bit. In that regard, he’s very much like Baker Mayfield. He takes a lot of chances; he makes a lot of plays but in the NFL it’s as much about the plays you don’t make as the plays you do.” - Former NFL Scout, Coach and Administrator, Chris Landry
Laundry took a deeper dive into both of their personalities and pointed out the fact that Wilson may end up cultivating one similar to Mayfield's, as he is headed to the Big Apple where big personalities are nurtured.
As wonderful as Wilson can be, he doesn't solve all of the Jets' issues.
Laundry pointed out, "The fans want Wilson to go out and save the franchise, well it doesn’t work that way. How good the Jets do with [Wilson] will depend on them being able to put good players around him.”
This begs the question: Who should the Jets draft with their 23rd pick? Landry had some thoughts on defensive players that could potentially go for the Jets at pick 23.
One name that has been rising up many draft boards is TCU safety, Trevon Moehrig. Landry said, "Trevon Moehrig out of TCU is a slot/ safety guy who can play well. He's a safety, but he
plays more like a slot cover guy and he would be a good fit, but there are other corners that would be a good fit on the outside if they slip like Greg Newsome or Kwity Paye.”
Although a few days ago it would have been easier to assume he'd be there for the Jets at 23, in the past 24 hours reports have come out revealing Dallas, Washington, and possibly Las Vegas are all interested. All of these teams pick ahead of NY, so their chances of getting him may be slim. There are other options that you can read about for the Jets in this article.
At the end of the day, the 23rd pick offers a ton of flexibility for the Jets, but the Jets should be leaning towards a guy who's going to help them in the secondary.
Anthony graduated from Montclair State University, where he covered a variety of sports for three years. He co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on campus radio station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.