The Jets have sucked for a long time now. Nobody denies this. Even one of their biggest fans “Fireman Ed” hung up his hat and now attempts to shuffle into a stadium owned by their big brother with anonymity. Even their big brother sucks and they’re still second choice for pundits and residents of the Big Apple. A Giants loss is bigger news than a Jets win on a given week. They suck, and what’s worse, almost nobody cares.
So it should come as no surprise they picked 2nd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. With that pick, as any NFL fan would know, they took Zach Wilson, baby-faced assassin/quarterback out of a college for Mormons. Mormons have worked before, look at Steve Young, or even Jim McMahon. This might work out right?
Well, they’ve been in this spot before, they are awful as you recall. Just three years ago in fact, they had the 3rd overall pick in the draft. They needed a quarterback there too, well, because five years earlier they took Geno Smith early in the 2nd round. Geno had actually been highly anticipated coming out of West Virginia. At one point, he was considered a favorite to be the top pick of the whole draft. To be fair it was an awful quarterback year, as the only one that went above him was EJ Manuel to the Bills with the 15th pick.
Take a look at the 2013 NFL Draft Wikipedia or something. Horrible draft, and Geno still went late. Before that they were fine right? They went to the AFC Championship a couple times under number 5 overall pick in 2009 Mark Sanchez. His last year with the Jets in 2012, Sanchez threw 13 TDs along with 18 INTs in 15 games. Even the years they did go to the AFC Championship he was awful. Rex Ryan brought an attitude to the defense and they shined in some big spots. Keep in mind this is still basically ten years ago. All that to bring this back around with what to do when their name came up in the 2021 Draft.
The last go around, the Jets opted for what many considered the safe choice in Darnold, while Pro Bowlers like Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson went later. Allen was considered a big lummox with a cannon and quick feet, but couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Jackson, looked at as an absolute weapon with his feet, but some thought he’d be a better receiver or tailback like Denard Robinson years prior. Which is interesting that they took Zach Wilson here.
They never had a chance at Trevor Lawrence, who many considered the biggest slam dunk at the position. Of course they couldn’t stink just bad enough to get that lucky. That left them with Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, or Mac Jones. All interesting players. Lance is raw and wiry, much like Josh Allen who they passed on three years ago. Fields had great athleticism and played for a winning program at Ohio State and won games through the air and with his feet. Then there’s Zach and Mac. Lots of rumors swirled about Mac going much earlier to the 49ers at number 3 overall, ultimately where Lance went. Jones was certainly a topic of discussion. In Zach Wilson, the Jets found both the safest and riskiest pick all in one man. Quite often, in NFL draft history, those are the worst picks.
Wilson had injury concerns, question marks around his competition, and a lot of people think his mom is weird. She also looks identical to him, and is sort of hot, which is confusing and awkward for me to admit. Jones was highly decorated coming out of Alabama, winning the National Title in two of his three active years with the Crimson Tide among other individual awards. He even out performed can’t miss (might miss) kid Trevor Lawrence. Sure he’s a little slower than Wilson, more of a traditional pocket quarterback, don’t think that’s worked in New England recently right?
It’s almost too perfect, Jets make another potentially bad decision setting them back years, and Pats get another potential steal. A big knock on Jones was that Alabama doesn’t produce great quarterbacks. It’s a fair criticism, but there’s a certain Alabama quarterback that was the best the Jets had ever had. After his illustrious career of throwing more interceptions than touchdown, Joe Namath also tried to kiss Suzy Kolber on a cold Monday Night. So what if he has an alcohol problem? He’s the only guy to ever win a Super Bowl for the joke of a franchise that is the Jets. Do they wish they took a shot on another member of the Tide this year? When they faceoff Sunday, that will be the question everyone wants the answer to right away. Sure, it’s safer to wait and make an informed decision. Much less fun though.