Not everyone in the NY Jets building wanted to draft Zach Wilson
It's no secret that the NY Jets fell in love with Zach Wilson in the pre-draft process. The Jets' desire to select Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was a known fact for weeks in advance.
In their defense, Wilson was widely seen as a top quarterback prospect and many teams around the league had him as their QB2 behind Trevor Lawrence as well. But the Jets took it a step further — at least a couple of top-level decision-makers did.
ESPN's Rich Cimini reported on Wednesday that former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and assistant general manager Rex Hogan "were the driving forces" behind the decision to select Wilson.
In fact, one Jets source said that LaFleur and Hogan were "selling the narrative" that Wilson was a better prospect than Lawrence. Seeing as though Lawrence was considered to be one of the best QB prospects in recent memory, that's a bold claim.
The decision to draft Zach Wilson wasn't unanimous for the NY Jets
While LaFleur and Hogan were huge supporters of Wilson, not everyone in the Jets' building felt the same way. Cimini reported that "some talent evaluators" with the Jets felt that Wilson was a developmental project.
They voiced concerns about his NFL readiness and believed that he "could be a starter within three years." In hindsight, those individuals should feel pretty vindicated.
The Jets have publicly stated in recent months that Wilson would have been better off sitting behind a veteran quarterback early in his career. Perhaps his development would have gone differently if that were the case.
Ultimately, as Cimini notes, it was Joe Douglas' decision to draft Wilson. The likes of LaFleur and Hogan may have been the ones banging the table, but Douglas is the one who made the call.
There were dissenting voices in Douglas' ear. In the end, he listed to his assistant GM and the offensive coordinator he would fire just two years later after it became clear that Wilson was nowhere near the caliber of prospect that LaFleur and Hogan believed him to be.
Wilson is well on his way to being one of the biggest busts in NFL history. Meanwhile, Trevor Lawrence looks the part of a franchise quarterback following an excellent sophomore NFL season.
It's safe to say that LaFleur and Hogan's hot take hasn't exactly aged well.