Zach Wilson is moving west, and former NFL Cougars Brandon Doman and Matt Bushman believe Denver is the place and Sean Payton is the coach that can give him a solid second chance.

The trade from the Jets that sent the former No. 2 overall draft pick to the Broncos ended his rocky three years in New York. The BYU star’s time included a mix of bad luck, bad timing, a bad offensive line and several shaky performances.

Doman, a fifth-round quarterback pick by San Francisco in 2002, believes playing in the Mile High City can get Wilson’s career back off the ground.

“I love the opportunity for him to be at the Broncos,” Doman told the “Y’s Guys” podcast. “I think Sean Payton, while he’s had a rocky start there, is unusual in his ability to coach quarterbacks. I think he is one of the best minds in the game.”

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Wilson’s New York demise is well documented, but the fact that he lost his quarterback coach, Greg Knapp, to a fatal cycling accident prior to the 2022 season may have had more to do with how things went than anything else. Doman thinks it did.

“I played with Greg Knapp,” Doman said. “I look back at Zach’s career and that may have been one of the single most tragic things that transpired for Zach, let alone for Greg and his family, because I think he was in a position to be really tutored well. I’m not so sure he was. I think it will be a good thing for him to get out of the East Coast and come to the Rocky Mountains and play football again. I think it’s a major win for him.”

Bushman caught two touchdown passes from Wilson at BYU. Like all his former teammates, he watched Wilson struggle on and off the field. Seeing him get a second chance has Bushman hopeful.

“Come in with confidence, but humility, saying, ‘I’m willing to do whatever I’m asked to do,’” Bushman said. “He’d been given a tough situation and I think he’s learned from it all. If he just goes in with the right mindset, when his opportunity comes, he will make the most of it.”

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

Dave McCann is a contributor to the Deseret News and is a play-by-play announcer and show host for BYUtv/ESPN+. He co-hosts “Y’s Guys” at and is the author of the children’s book “C is for Cougar,” available at