Utah columnist begs Jets: ‘Give Zach Wilson a break’ by passing on him

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Tyler Calvaruso
·3 min read
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One Jets Drive is known across the NFL as a place where young, promising quarterbacks go to waste away.

Mark Sanchez led the Jets to two AFC Championship games in his first two seasons with the team, but quickly flamed out and is now known for the “butt fumble” more than any winning he ever did in the Big Apple. Geno Smith never quite put it together before a punch to the jaw effectively ended his time in New York. Christian Hackenberg never had much of a chance of succeeding. Sam Darnold showed flashes of potential in his three seasons with Gang Green, but struggled to produce consistently before being dealt to the Panthers in March.

With the 2021 NFL draft inching closer, it looks increasingly likely that BYU’s Zach Wilson is next in line to take on the title of potential Jets franchise quarterback. One Utah columnist doesn’t want to see Wilson wind up on the laundry list of failed NFL quarterbacks who started their career with New York, though — to the point that he penned an open letter to Joe Douglas pleading with him to do Wilson the simple favor of not drafting him.

“Don’t do it,” wrote the Desert News’ Doug Robinson on Tuesday. “Don’t draft Zach Wilson. Give the kid a break; pick someone else. The Ohio State quarterback, for instance. Or whoever that guy is from North Dakota State.”

Robinson is, of course, referring to Justin Fields and Trey Lance, both of whom are projected to go off the board behind Wilson. The Jets attended pro days for both players, but the league-wide assumption is that they’re locked in on Wilson.

Robinson wasn’t done there. He went on to dig the knife deeper into the Jets’ heart, recounting all of their recent quarterback failures. He even went beyond Darnold, Hackenberg, Sanchez and Smith to further his point, pointing out all of New York’s recent woes under center, from veteran backups to failed late-round draft picks.

“In the last 15 years, the Jets have drafted 11 quarterbacks, four in the first two rounds,” Robinson wrote. “To quote Rooster Cogburn, ‘Well, that didn’t pan out.'”

It’s easy to understand where Robinson is coming from. As a columnist from Utah who covered Wilson throughout his collegiate career at BYU, it’s understandable that he would want to see one of the state’s recent bright stars shine at the next level. Considering the Jets’ recent run of disastrous quarterback play and the fact that they haven’t had a true franchise quarterback since Joe Namath four decades ago, there’s not much of a reason to believe Florham Park is the place for Wilson to rise to stardom.

“It might surprise you to know that the Jets have had one winning season in the last decade,” Robinson wrote. “Who thought it was that many?”

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