The New York Jets’ top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was something of a mixed bag in his rookie campaign.
Zach Wilson entered the pros with a lot of hype. Many envisioned him as the sort of passer that could change a franchise’s fortunes a la Joe Burrow.
Ultimately, the rookie showed flashes of brilliance – but also some red flags.
The biggest problem with Wilson was his durability. He ended up missing four games due to an injury and then got absolutely pummeled whenever he was on the field. The BYU standout got sacked 44 times on the year, and each one led to a collective gasp from the crowd.
This offseason, Wilson hit the weight room, much like Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen. Understanding that his build was as much of an issue as the Jets’ offensive line, he went to work on getting bigger and stronger. The results largely speak for themselves:
Zach Wilson putting on some grown man muscle and weight….. looks like he’s been murdering legs, chest, tris and bis in the weight room all before a protein shake and PB n J before bed. pic.twitter.com/GSUTZBC8e1
— Will Parkinson (@Willpa11) May 3, 2022
I cannot wait to watch Year 2 of Zach Wilson pic.twitter.com/ibTfacdNVs
— 𝙅𝙀𝙏𝙎 𝙈𝙀𝘿𝙄𝘼🛫 (@NYJets_Media) May 9, 2022
Even head coach Robert Saleh was impressed.
Coach Saleh gives an update on @ZachWilson and the offseason. pic.twitter.com/cCZFEtMX60
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 7, 2022
“Zach looks good, he’s definitely hit the weight room,” Saleh said. “He’s definitely filled out, but he’s still got all his looseness and throwing the football and the zip and all that stuff. So, he looks good.”
Last year was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. He finished with 9 touchdowns, 11 picks, and completed 55.6 percent of his passes. His 69.7 quarterback rating was the lowest of any regular NFL starter. That said, in the final six games he threw for five touchdowns and was intercepted only once.
There’s promise there.
Unfortunately Wilson’s offseason has been mired by drama. The racy video that he tried to get deleted off the internet; his girlfriend brouhaha; his mom being as crazy as ever with her ‘crack whore’ nonsense.
It has just been one thing after another.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 10, 2022
Clearly Wilson is intent on getting better. His offseason work has proven that. But will he be able to drown out the noise and put together a truly solid sophomore campaign?
An answer should emerge soon enough.
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