Joe Douglas and the New York Jets have made it official by selecting BYU quarterback Zach Wilson second in the 2021 NFL draft.
Wilson, born in Draper, UT, departs Brigham Young as one of the most prolific passers in program history. He leaves Provo on a high note with 43 total touchdowns and 3,946 yards of offense, marks respectively good for second and third in the nation. His completion rate of 73.5 was the best in school history, breaking a mark set by Hall of Famer Steve Young.
The independent Cougars finished the 2020 season with an 11-1 record, a campaign that ended with a win over Central Florida in the Boca Raton Bowl. Wilson was the Offensive MVP of the game with a career-best 425 yards in passing. BYU was ranked 11th in the final Associated Press poll, their best finish since 1996.
Wilson is the latest name chosen to fill the Jets’ franchise quarterback void, one that has struggled to maintain consistency.
He becomes the fourth quarterback the Jets have chosen in the first round since the turn of the century, joining Chad Pennington (2000), Mark Sanchez (2009), and Sam Darnold (2018). That’s the most in the NFL in the span alongside Cleveland, Washington, and Jacksonville, who joined the list with the selection of Trevor Lawrence with the opening pick on Thursday.
The Jets were searching for a new starting quarterback after trading Darnold to the Carolina Panthers after three seasons at the passing helm.
During the offseason, Wilson has worked with fellow Cougar legend John Beck as a personal coach. Beck, 39, was the most recent BYU quarterback to be chosen in the draft, taken by the Miami Dolphins in 2007’s second round. Wilson joins other first-round Cougar throwers like Young, Jim McMahon, and Marc Wilson.
The Jets’ next pick will come in the 23rd slot.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags