Steve Young may have some really good sources.
The Hall-of-Fame quarterback and ESPN NFL analyst said during a podcast last week that "the Jets have committed to Zach [Wilson]." General manager Joe Douglas didn’t refute Young’s words on Tuesday.
"Steve’s plugged into BYU pretty well," Douglas said.
Wilson has been long linked to the Jets with the No. 2 pick. This is just another sign that the BYU quarterback likely will be the Jets’ choice in the April 29 draft.
Young went to BYU and played for the San Francisco 49ers. He said his old team, which traded up to get the No. 3 pick, wants Wilson but Young said he isn’t getting past the Jets. Young also said the Jets have "recruited the family."
Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur attended Wilson’s pro day last month. Douglas was seen talking to Wilson, who met with the Jets virtually.
"It was good being out there at the pro day and just had an opportunity to speak to his representatives, say hello to a couple of members of his family quickly," Douglas said. "We’re excited about this class and we’re excited about this quarterback class."
When asked specifically about Young’s "recruiting the family" comment, Douglas responded, "I had a brief conversation with his agent and his father at the pro day. It was a good conversation and it was good to say hello to them."
Douglas can’t show his hand just yet. There are still more than three weeks until the draft. But if the Jets hadn’t zeroed in on someone, they probably wouldn’t have traded quarterback Sam Darnold on Monday.
Darnold was dealt to Carolina for a sixth-round pick this year and second- and fourth-round selections in 2022.
The Jets spoke to "a lot of teams" leading up to the trade, Douglas said, but "there was never any meaningful discussions about pick No. 2." That’s another indication the Jets know which way they’re going with the pick.
They certainly could have gotten a haul for the No. 2 choice and filled multiple needs. Although Douglas wouldn’t rule out dealing the pick, the Jets are locked in on taking a quarterback.
"I think that’s a fair assessment to say based on the decision we made yesterday," Douglas said. "You can kind of see the direction we’re heading. When it comes to pick 2, never say never. Like I’ve said to you guys in the past I’ll always answer the phone if it’s ringing."
Ohio State’s Justin Fields could be the pick if the Jets don’t take Wilson. But that would be surprise at this point.
The Jets need to add a veteran quarterback to help mentor the rookie they will hand over the keys to the franchise. Among those available are Alex Smith, Blake Bortles, Brian Hoyer and Blaine Gabbert.