Grading the NY Jets' last 10 first-round draft picks
By Ryan Shafer
2021, 2nd overall: Zach Wilson, QB, NY Jets
The most awaited grade in this list goes to the 2021 second-overall pick, Zach Wilson.
The second quarterback selected in four years, Wilson was named the starter of the Jets from the start of his career, never facing any adversity or challenges. Across his first two years, Wilson has been nothing short of a disaster.
Unlike Darnold, graded above, Wilson has been surrounded by talent since the day he took over with the front office surrounding the signal caller with elite talent on offense. Players such as Corey Davis, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Michael Carter, CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Elijah Moore have been brought in to help Wilson.
Despite the huge influx of offensive talent, Wilson has been downright terrible, ranking as the worst qualifying QB during both the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
His record of 8-14 is despite his awful play, not because he has helped lead the team to any wins. He has completed only 55 percent of his passes and has 18 interceptions to only 15 touchdowns.
If the stats don't prove the point enough, he was replaced at various points in the 2022 season by Mike White, who at one point was trusted more than Wilson to win despite having six broken ribs.
The low point came in a prime-time game against the Jaguars. Needing a win, and with Mike White out, the Jets trusted Wilson one final time. Recognizing their mistake by halftime, Wilson was replaced by undrafted gadget player Chris Streveler to finish the embarrassing game.
The fact Wilson has been so terrible has placed the Jets in the precarious position of needing to trade meaningful draft picks in the coming years to try and acquire a veteran QB for the 2023 season.
By his third year, Wilson should be leading the Jets on a playoff run, on par with the likes of Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, or Josh Allen. Instead, they are in QB purgatory for another offseason.