As good as Zach Wilson is, there’s a long and often arduous road ahead of the BYU product as he navigates the challenges that come with moving from FBS competition to NFL competition, but if you’ve seen any interviews with Zach so far, you’ll know it’s a challenge that he won’t shy away from.
Wilson, speaking to the media ahead of the 2nd days practice at rookie mini-camp had a lot to say on the transition, his fellow rookies and the Jets veterans.
“It was fun to get back to playing ball and meeting some of the guys. I think just getting used to the differences from college to the NFL. Obviously learning all the new plays, getting used to throwing to different guys, the speed of the game is different”
One of those guys he’s throwing to is Elijah Moore, the Jets 2nd round draft pick out of Ole Miss. The speedy Moore was considered a first-round talent heading into the draft, and the Jets were lucky that he fell into their laps in the 2nd round. Moore and Wilson have generated an instant connection having been speaking to each other on a daily basis and sending each other clips of the other, accelerating the “get to know you” phase of the relationship.
Wilson when asked about Moore couldn’t be more complimentary:
“He’s going to adjust to the NFL game well. His speed is obviously a huge factor for him as to why he’s so good with the way he run routes. His patience that he has, his ability to get in and out of breaks, win the one on one and the ability to make catches look easy. I think he just does it all very well. The best attribute for him is the ability to want to learn almost like a quarterback. He wants to learn from every aspect of the game and to know why everything is happening, even if it doesn’t specifically have to do with him”
At the moment the Jets don’t have much competition for Wilson, the expectation of being a 2nd overall pick is that you’re going to start straight away. Many expect the Jets to bring in some veteran leadership for Wilson at some point, whether that’s in the form of Brian Hoyer or Nick Mullens, or someone different. When asked about how important the starting spot is, Wilson said it was important, but it wasn’t his focus. His focus is just to learn the offense, get better every day and make the players around him better.
Through the draft process we spoke about how there were some similarities between the offense that the Jets expect to run and the offense that he ran at BYU, both employed aspects of the wide zone scheme the Jets will implement. Wilson was asked about that:
“Terminology is completely different, football is really like learning a language, you got to work at it every single day to put the words together and be able to think of them quick and know what’s going on. Similarities is the play-action game, the inside-zone and outside-zone that’s specific to the west coast offense that we ran at BYU. A mix of under centre and gun, being able to do both, lots of shifts, lots of motions, that kind of thing is very similar”
It’s easy to see why the coaching staff really fell in love with Zach, he comes across really well, really mature and he certainly says all the right things. It’s a long wait until September isn’t it.