Zach Wilson heads into the New York Jets training camp this summer with a smile.
Of course, it seems he’s always wearing a grin. He’s got positivity in his DNA. You say storm, he says moisture is good. You say injury, he thinks recovery. You get down on the Jets and he sees more wins.
The 2022 NFL draft certainly shows the Jets brain trusts are investing in help for Wilson and company.
If he can’t complete passes to these guys, it’s a pretty bad storm.
His protection should be healthy. It won’t be top of the line, but it will be better than he had last year in his rookie season.
So, fire away.
Heavy.com summarized that Jets “general manager Joe Douglas and (head coach) Robert Saleh have clearly pushed the chips into the middle of the table as it pertains to Zach Wilson’s development.”
Zach Wilson putting on some grown man muscle and weight….. looks like he’s been murdering legs, chest, tris and bis in the weight room all before a protein shake and PB n J before bed. pic.twitter.com/GSUTZBC8e1— Will Parkinson (@Willpa11) May 3, 2022
And Wilson has bulked up in the offseason. He’s filled out, adding some muscle to help absorb some of the punishment QBs take. Even in these protected status days, he’s going to get blasted.
His teammates have nicknamed him “Zach Vick” following his 52-yard TD run against the Jags last season. This is a tip-of-the-hat mention to former Atlanta Falcon and Philadelphia Eagle QB Michael Vick, who is known for his speed and running ability.
“I don’t think I’m fast enough to be Zach Vick,” he told media members when asked about the new tag.
Corey Davis has a superior size. Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson and Braxton Berrios are home run fodder. And then there is Michael Carter.
Targets R Us.
Douglas and Saleh pulled off some nice weapons in the draft in Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson and teammate tight end Jeremy Ruckert.
For those who watched the Buckeyes’ explosive offense the past few seasons, these are future weapons the Jets can develop into game breakers.
Ruckert fills a design the franchise really needs to build upon. In college, Zach Wilson was used to targeting the tight end position and made a living off hitting 6-foot-6 Issac Rex, who tied for the NCAA lead in TE touchdowns.
The skill positions room plus TE overall for the Jets now is probably the best it’s ever been and ever will be. Zach Wilson will have to take that next step or it will have been a waste. I fully expect Zach to take that next step. #TakeFlight— Carp (@robcarpenter81) April 30, 2022
The Jets signed as free agents C.J. Uzomah, a 2015 fifth-round pick by Cincinnati, and Tyler Conklin, fifth-round choice of the Vikings.
This is beefing up the weaponry and blocking for Zach Wilson, perhaps expanding the offense a bit.
NFL.com listed the Jets draft as the second-best behind Baltimore and just ahead of Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs.
I like the addition of Iowa State’s Breece Hall, a powerful runner with speed. Louisiana offensive tackle Max Mitchell is a welcome big body to help surround Zach Wilson, capable of playing left or right tackle.
Garrett Wilson is elusive, perfect for screenplays and yards after the catch. Ruckert has great size and hands.
Pro Football Focus predicts through its matrix that Zach Wilson will have the best situation of any of the second-year quarterbacks drafted in 2021, a class that includes Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
The @nyjets look ready for TAKEOFF! GM Joe Douglas might look like Will Sasso but the rest of the NFL isn’t laughing at what he’s doing with this Jets’ roster. @iamSauceGardner @GarrettWilson_V @ii_jermaine and @BreeceH will speed up Zach Wilson’s development DRASTICALLY.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 6, 2022
Writes Sam Monson, “The Jets had a much clearer intention of building around Wilson this offseason and prioritized upgrading his receiving corps in the draft. They still hit defense with two of their first three selections, but the third was the No. 1 wide receiver on their draft board in Garrett Wilson from Ohio State.
“Wilson has a complete skill set for the position, averaging more than 3.0 yards per route run in each of his final two seasons in college with different quarterbacks. Passes thrown his way in his college career generated a 140.6 NFL passer rating, and he should allow last year’s additions — Corey Davis and Elijah Moore — to be more productive in addition to making his own impact.”
The Jets will have some speed to force defenses to think differently.
The TE matrix is big for Zach Wilson. In college he frequented not only Rex but a bigger TE like receiver in Neil Pau’u, a concise route runner, and Masen Wake, a flex tight end/fullback. These targets were deadly, freeing up deeper shots to Dax Milne (Washington Commanders).
It’s been a good winter for Zach Wilson. The spring brought an even better level for him with what his team did in the draft.
This will be an interesting drama to see unfold in Gotham.