Zach Wilson has been ranked as a top-5 OROTY candidate by
Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Getty Images

Zach Wilson receives No. 5 slot in ROTY ranking

The New York Jets certainly hope this isn’t the last time Zach Wilson shows up in a top-five listing.’s Lance Zierlein placed Wilson fifth in his ranking of 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates released on Monday. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ top overall selection Trevor Lawrence tops the list ahead of Wilson, Kyle Pitts, Justin Fields, and Najee Harris. He’s the third-ranked quarterback behind Lawrence and Chicago’s Justin Fields, who ranks third.

Zierlein admits that he has a “lingering hesitation” about placing Wilson so high due to the Jets’ “recent woes”. But he’s inspired by the supporting cast that Jets management, headed by general manager Joe Douglas, has placed around him – one that is an upgrade on paper over anything his immediate predecessor Sam Darnold had to work with.

“The offensive line is a more fortified unit with rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker and free-agent signee Morgan Moses sticking their hands in the dirt,” Zierlein writes. “Plus, the additions of Corey Davis and rookie Elijah Moore at wideout add undeniable juice to a passing attack that should be able to challenge on all three levels of the field.”

Jets’ ROTY history

An understandable amount of hype lingers behind Wilson, who is set to be the Jets’ fourth opening day starting quarterback over the last six seasons. No Jets representative has won a Rookie of the Year Award since Sheldon Richardson took home the Associated Press’ defensive honor in 2013.

Other top rookie winners on the defensive side for New York nclude Erik McMillan (1988), Hugh Douglas (1995), and Jonathan Vilma (2004). There has been no offensive honoree since Matt Snell and Joe Namath won in consecutive seasons during the AFL days (1964-65).

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email:
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