Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson’s rookie season with the New York Jets in 2021 wasn’t all that good, but if a list published Sunday by Scott Spratt for ESPN is to be believed, there is still a lot of hope moving forward for Wilson and the Jets.
Spratt’s list ranked all 32 NFL teams by the talent they have that is under 25 years old, and the Jets came in at No. 3 behind only the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers.
Much of the reason for Spratt’s optimism had to do primarily with players other than Wilson, including incoming rookies Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson and Breece Hall.
In essence, Spratt wrote, it is Zach Wilson who has to be better in 2022 in order for the Jets’ deep young offensive core to realize its full potential.
“For that skill position group to hit its high ceiling, quarterback Wilson needs a dramatic improvement in Year 2,” Spratt wrote, citing a bevy of stats in which Wilson finished poorly in last season.
Elsewhere in Spratt’s rankings, the Detroit Lions are No. 7, with former Desert Hills High star Penei Sewell — the seventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft out of Oregon — getting specific mention.
“Sewell is well on track to live up to his draft status after blowing just 2.6% of his blocks in his rookie season despite moving from left to right tackle around teammate Taylor Decker’s injury,” Spratt wrote.
For each team, Spratt also included a list of top 25-year-olds who have recently “graduated” from the under-25 threshold. Players with Utah ties include:
- San Francisco 49ers (13th) linebacker Fred Warner, BYU.
- Carolina Panthers (16th) offensive lineman Brady Christensen, BYU.
- Baltimore Ravens (22nd) safety Marcus Williams, Utah.
- Las Vegas Raiders (29th) offensive lineman Andre James, Herriman High.