Listen, everyone loves the NFL off-season. Between all things NFL Draft and the mayhem of free agency, it is the most eventful off-season in all of sports. At the same time, there does come a point where teams must see how the team they formed can play. That being said, the New York Jets underwent a massive revamp this off-season. A new head coach, quarterback, culture, and so much more have fans hoping there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Here is a preview of the quarterbacks that will look to help turn the Jets in the right direction in 2021…
2021 New York Jets Preview: Quarterbacks
The Starter: Zach Wilson
Step right up and see the latest first-round quarterback who will look to turn around the New York Jets. Zach Wilson is a 6’3” and 210-pound gunslinger from BYU that is replacing former starter and first-round pick Sam Darnold. Except, unlike Darnold, Wilson has actually been set up to succeed with the team.
The Jets have a competent Head Coach in Robert Saleh, who brought offensive guru Mike LaFleur from San Francisco to be his offensive coordinator. Wilson is a perfect fit for LaFleur’s West Coast-type offense, given his playmaking ability and a strong arm. Not to mention, General Manager Joe Douglas made sure to give Wilson plenty of weapons around him.
In the backfield, the Jets brought in veteran Tevin Coleman and North Carolina’s Michael Carter in the fourth round of the draft. New York also signed receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole in free agency, before selecting Ole Miss wideout Elijah Moore in the second round. They will join Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder to form one of the team’s best-receiving corps on paper in years.
Plus, the Jets have made huge strides once again along the offensive line. The team took USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker 14th overall in the draft to play alongside left tackle Mekhi Becton. New York also recently made the addition of veteran Morgan Moses at right tackle.
Now, there is still plenty of time before the season begins. However, even Saleh has spoken about how Wilson’s picked up the offense, “You love the progress. Now it’s just a matter of continuing to get reps.”
Like any rookie quarterback, nobody is going to know exactly how their transition to the pro game will go. Wilson is going from BYU, who despite being ranked, did not play the toughest opponents given their Independent status. There are also questions surrounding how he will handle the Big Apple pressure. Nonetheless, this is Wilson’s team, and hopefully the future of it too.
The Bubble: James Morgan and Mike White
Please, take note of the fact there is no “backup” here behind Wilson. Both James Morgan and Mike White are competing for the “QB2” status, and neither are clear-cut choices. Neither has taken a snap in the NFL, despite both having been NFL Draft picks at one point.
Morgan likely has the advantage, as he has upside. A fourth-round pick by Douglas in 2020, Morgan was known as a developmental prospect coming out of Florida International. With a solid arm, Morgan stands as the likely choice for the backup position.
Except, that cannot be written in stone. He, like White, has had his issues during off-season workouts. Training camp competition is going to go a long way because White is not out of this. The former Dallas Cowboys fifth-round pick in 2018 has been in the organization since 2019 and is unlikely to go anywhere.
This competition will go down to the wire, and the Jets cannot afford to make the wrong choice. Good backup quarterbacks are extremely valuable, and New York is taking a risk not having experience currently behind Wilson.
Final Quarterbacks Analysis
Simply put – this is Zach Wilson’s team. New York knew they were taking him with the second overall pick for months, displayed by dealing Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. Behind him though is where things are foggy. Do not be surprised if the Jets come to terms with the fact they need a veteran backup quarterback. After all, there is no one currently on the roster who has taken a snap in the NFL.
Stay tuned for the next article in the 2021 New York Jets Preview series with running backs!
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