Zach Wilson’s arm strength, touch and ability to make throws on the move lived up to the hype on his pro day and only enhanced the chances of the Jets using the No. 2 overall pick on the former BYU quarterback.
With general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur in Provo, Utah, on Friday, Wilson showed why he’s a coveted prospect.
So coveted that it would be surprising if the Jets didn’t take Wilson.
Wilson has met with the Jets via Zoom and was seen talking to Douglas on Friday. This was the first time they’ve been in the same room together.
"Great staff. Love those guys," Wilson said after his workout. "Joe Douglas is a great guy. It was good to see him out here. They got a good thing going."
Sam Darnold’s days as a Jet certainly appear to be numbered, and not just because of Wilson’s impressive pro day.
The feeling around the NFL is that the Jets are very high on the 6-2, 214-pound Wilson. Perhaps one of the only things that could impede his path to them would be the results of his physical in April.
He had surgery on his throwing shoulder two years ago but he says he’s fully recovered. His 3,692 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes last season are a good indication of that, as was his performance on Friday.
"It feels great," he said. "I have no issues. It’s stronger than it was before."
Two big trades involving draft picks were made Friday, sending strong signals that the Jets don’t appear interested in trading the No. 2 pick and have Wilson in their sights.
The 49ers made a deal with the Dolphins and moved up from No. 12 to No. 3, ostensibly to take a quarterback in the draft, which begins April 29. San Francisco reportedly has had no trade discussions with the Jets. Because Saleh and LaFleur come from the 49ers, it’s safe to presume that GM John Lynch has an idea of the Jets’ thinking heading into the draft.
The other deal was Miami swapping the No. 12 pick with Philadelphia at No. 6. The Eagles reportedly were interested in Wilson, but they didn’t see him falling that far. Instead they got a future first-rounder in the deal.
Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman is close with Douglas. They worked together in Philadelphia and Roseman might know which way the Jets are leaning.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields will have his pro day Tuesday. Fields is more mobile and explosive with his legs, but the belief is the Jets are higher on Wilson, and he did nothing to hurt his standing on Friday.
"The goal today was to kind of show what makes me different, [the] type of throws that I can make that I feel like other guys don’t practice or don’t try to do," Wilson said. "That was the goal of today — to show kind of what makes me different."
If he is the pick, trade talks for Darnold could heat up.The Broncos, Panthers and Bears could be in the quarterback market
Wilson said that in his Zoom calls with the Jets, the team picked his brain to see how he processes things. "It’s been good," he said. .
Wilson called New York "a great spot." He said he has family in the area and has visited a couple of times. Soon, he could be calling it home.