Tyrod Taylor already looks like a massive upgrade over Zach Wilson

The difference between Taylor and Wilson cannot be overstated
Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The NY Jets made efforts to upgrade their roster in a number of ways this offseason, but perhaps no upgrade is more significant than the one at the quarterback position — and we're not even talking about Aaron Rodgers.

Yes, the return of Rodgers will no doubt provide a much-needed jolt to what was a stagnant and incompetent offense in 2023, but the Jets can't really be blamed for the four-time MVP's unfortunate injury last season.

They can, however, be blamed for their short-sighted and lackluster backup plan behind him. The good news for Jets fans is that Zach Wilson is gone, and his replacement, Tyrod Taylor, has wasted little time acquainting himself with his new team.

The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt reported on Monday that Taylor's performance during OTAs and minicamp this spring made it abundantly clear "how much of an upgrade he is" over his successor.

"[Aaron] Rodgers skipping minicamp gave [Tyrod] Taylor an opportunity to get some reps with the first-team offense; it was immediately clear how much of an upgrade he is over Zach Wilson. Taylor might be the best deep ball thrower of any No. 2 quarterback and still has mobility, but tends to hold onto the ball too long and can miss some easy throws in the intermediate areas."

Zack Rosenblatt

The Tyrod Taylor signing is already paying dividends for the NY Jets

Taylor received plenty of reps this spring, most notably working with the first-team offense during Rodgers' minicamp absence. The 13-year NFL veteran held down the fort and allowed the offense to operate efficiently even without Rodgers.

That's exactly what the team hopes will happen if Taylor is forced into action in 2024.

Of course, all bets are off if Rodgers is forced to miss significant time again this season due to injury. Taylor can't be expected to start 12+ games and lead the Jets to a deep postseason run.

He can, however, be asked to fill in for a few games and keep the offense afloat. That's something that Wilson, Trevor Siemian, and Tim Boyle were unable to do last season. It's the reason the Jets finished the season with a 7-10 record — and it's the reason Rodgers was never able to miraculously return from injury midseason.

Taylor is a well-traveled NFL veteran who has been one of the NFL's best backup quarterbacks over the last few years. His stints with the New York Giants, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, and Cleveland Browns have all proved that he can fill in as a spot starter and win some games.

Taylor has posted a record of 28-28-1 as a starter in the NFL, throwing for 65 touchdowns and just 29 interceptions. He's not someone who's going to take the top off of defenses, nor does he have the same playmaking abilities as a runner that he did early in his career.

But the Jets won't need Taylor to do either of those things. The Jets will ask Taylor to confidently run the offense in the scenario that Rodgers is forced to miss a handful of games. Those games could very well determine the fate of the Jets' season.

While Wilson is currently a distant third in the worst quarterback room in the NFL, Taylor remains one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. The gap between Wilson and Taylor is as large if not larger than the gap between Taylor and Rodgers.

The Jets upgraded their roster in a big way this offseason, and that goes for their backups as well.