Sometimes it’s easier to connect the dots than others.
This feels like one of those times.
And while a lot can happen between now and when the Jets decide what to do with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, which begins April 29, the events of Friday afternoon sure did seem to answer a lot of questions.
And by the time the Jets make their choice, there could be a sweeping change of direction.
For starters, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson put on quite a show during his pro day, wowing NFL executives with his arm strength, accuracy and confidence. Among those in attendance: the Jets' top two decision-makers in general manager Joe Douglas and coach Robert Saleh.
They no doubt will be in lockstep about how things will proceed in the coming weeks. Both will be in agreement about whether it is time to move on from Sam Darnold and go with Wilson, or whether Darnold will be their quarterback of the present and future.
If that's the case, they can parlay the second overall choice into the kind of draft-pick bonanza the Dolphins produced in dealing away the No. 3 pick to the 49ers on Friday.
At about the time Wilson was wowing the Jets and other top brass from NFL teams, Miami and San Francisco engaged in a monstrous deal that put into focus the quarterback plans for those teams.
The Dolphins appear sold on 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa as their long-term starter, because otherwise they wouldn’t have surrendered a pick that high in a draft class that features several prominent quarterbacks.
In addition to Wilson, there’s Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, who is expected to go first overall to the Jaguars; Justin Fields of Ohio State, Mack Jones of Alabama and Trey Lance of North Dakota State. They might all be top 10 draft picks.
Miami did trade back up to No. 6 with the Eagles, but that’s most likely because they covet a player other than quarterback.
By moving up from 12 to 3, the 49ers made it clear that they’re ready to take a quarterback and move on — either this year or certainly no later than next year — from Jimmy Garoppolo. Coach Kyle Shanahan, a noted quarterback guru, and general manager John Lynch, a newly minted Hall of Famer, don’t give up first- and third-round picks in 2022 and a first-rounder in 2023 unless they’re taking a quarterback.
It’s unclear whether the Jets were part of the discussions with San Francisco about the No. 2 pick, but if Douglas wants to deal, there is a boatload of picks to be had. He’d get even more draft capital than Miami did.
But there’s a good chance Douglas is not interested in moving out of that spot, which gives you even more reason to believe he’s ready to take a quarterback and trade Darnold. He already has said he’s willing to take calls on Darnold, the third overall pick in 2018. He also left open the possibility that Darnold will remain with the team for a while, a smart move to keep his options open and keep teams guessing in the event they’re ready to trade for either the second pick or Darnold.
Wilson did his part on Friday to state his case.
"The goal was to kind of show what makes me different, the type of throws I can make that I feel like other guys don’t practice and don’t try to do," he said on a Zoom call after his workout.
At 6-2, 214 pounds, he’s not the prototype NFL quarterback in terms of size, but there’s enough to like about him to entice some team to make him their franchise quarterback moving forward. He also indicated there have been no complications from surgery on his throwing shoulder in 2019.
"I feel great, no issues," he said. "It was stronger than before. I’m glad I got it done."
Douglas and Saleh spoke to Wilson on Friday and no doubt will have additional conversations in the days ahead.
"Great staff. Love those guys," Wilson said. "Joe Douglas is a great guy. It was good to see him out here. They got a good thing going."
Of course, it’s important not to read too much into comments from players in the days leading up to the draft. They know it’s in their best interest to say positive things about any teams that might be interested, because there’s always a level of uncertainty to the process.
But with the Jets owning this high a pick and with Wilson considered by many NFL scouts to be the second-best prospect behind Lawrence, it isn’t a stretch to believe that the interest here is mutual.
And if you’re looking to connect the dots in this case, it sure does feel as if the Jets are ready to start over with Wilson.