The No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson had a bit of a tumultuous rookie campaign. He struggled throughout the first few weeks, missed time due to injury, and only occasionally flashed the potential he showed at BYU.
Wilson oftentimes made the easy plays look difficult. However, he did clean his game up as the season progressed as he played the best football of his career late in the year.
The Jets are hoping to see Wilson build upon the momentum he formed over the final month of last season in 2022. That, ultimately, will be the only way they can legitimately compete this season.
How Zach Wilson can find success with the NY Jets in 2022
To accurately gauge how Wilson can succeed with the Jets in 2022 we must first analyze the ways he improved late last season. That late-season improvement provides the basis for his development this year.
Wilson notably became much safer with the football as the year went on. The 22-year-old tossed nine interceptions in his first six games (181 pass attempts). That gave him a 4.97 percent interception rate that easily ranked dead last among all qualified quarterbacks.
Upon returning from injury, Wilson showed signs of significant improvement in this department. He didn't turn the ball over a single time over the final five weeks of the season — and it wasn't like he was just getting lucky either.
Per Pro Football Focus, Wilson had just three turnover-worthy plays on 171 dropbacks from Weeks 14-18, a percentage that ranked fourth in the NFL behind just Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow, and Justin Herbert.
Now, it's not as if Wilson was exactly lighting up the stat sheet. He was safe, but he was also conservative. Of course, a lot of that was dependent on his supporting cast which resembled more of a hodgepodge of practice squad players (minus Braxton Berrios) than a legitimate NFL receiving corps at that point.
Still, the Jets would like to see Wilson continue to be safe with the football while pushing the bounds of his playmaking abilities in 2022. That will be the key to him reaching his potential.
There will be no excuses for Wilson this season. The Jets corrected the wrongs they made in the past with Sam Darnold and surrounded their young QB with ample offensive talent. If Wilson flops, it won't be because the Jets set him up to fail.
Wilson will find success this season if he continues to cut down on turnovers while flashing the raw talent that made him the second overall pick in the draft. The Jets don't need him to make a Josh Allen-type leap. Or, as Robert Saleh said, they don't need him to be Tom Brady.
All they need is for him to show enough promise to convince the team that he should be the guy moving forward. That's easier said than done, of course.
Zach Wilson was the No. 2 overall pick for a reason. Now, it's time for him to show why.