NY Jets: What could Zach Wilson's rookie year look like?

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NY Jets have had eleven different quarterbacks start a game for them since 2009, and if all goes according to plan Zach Wilson will be quarterback number twelve. Wilson the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, is expected to take over as the trigger man for the Green and White entering a favorable situation in Florham Park.

New head coach Robert Saleh has tabbed Mike LaFleur to be his offensive coordinator and he brings over the Kyle Shanahan system which many believe Wilson is a perfect fit for. Wilson will benefit from the play-action passing game along with the movement of the pocket and platform that are staples of the Shanahan offense.

Wilson is a twitchy athlete with a lively arm. He can stand in the pocket and make accurate passes all over the field short, intermediate, or deep. What makes Wilson special is his ability to make plays while on the move with some flat-out ridiculous off-platform throws.

One of the things you immediately notice with Wilson is the confidence he plays with, he knows his arm is special and will not shy away from the most difficult of throws. In his final season at BYU he completed 73.5% of his passes for 3692 yards, 33 touchdown passes to just 3 interceptions. He also added 10 touchdowns on the ground highlighting his playmaking ability.

Wilson enters a situation with the Jets where he will have a better supporting cast than his predecessor Sam Darnold ever had. On the offensive line, the Jets already have ascending player Mehki Becton at left tackle. They added rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in the draft and then added Morgan Moses to upgrade the right tackle position.

With these moves the Jets project to have a much-improved offensive line. They have also made moves to upgrade the wide receiver group as well, they added Corey Davis in free agency and also added rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore in the draft. They were also able to retain Jamison Crowder on a pay cut. If this cast can just produce at its floor Wilson has a chance to be productive in his rookie season.

According to BET MGM Sportsbook, Wilson’s over-under for passing yards is 3775.5 and 20.5 for touchdown passes. When you factor in the scheme, the skill set, and the supporting cast it is tempting to think that Wilson can hit these marks. When you factor in the fact that the Jets have an over-under win total of 6, you must assume they will be a team that throws the football often.

I'm projecting the Jets to trail for more than half their snaps resulting in 550 pass attempts for Wilson, so the volume should be there for him on a weekly basis. Now if you break down the 3775.5 passing yards down to a per-game basis we are looking at 222 y/g.

Since 2015 10 of the 15 Rookie QBs to start at least 10 games have broken that mark. A rookie year Sam Darnold even came close with 220 y/g. I think Wilson can meet the passing yardage mark and with the extra game, I think it's likely he hits the touchdown total as well. Just hitting the marks set by Vegas would set rookie franchise records for the Jets.

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Final prediction for Zach Wilson

550 Pass Attempts 67% 4,274 Passing Yards 22.5 TDs 13.8 INTs 166 Rushing Yards 1.6 Rushing TDs