Zach Wilson

Latest On Jets, Sam Darnold

With Carson Wentz now a member of the Colts, the next quarterback domino to fall could be Sam Darnold. The former second overall pick’s status is up in the air, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s starting for the Jets next season or if he’s shipped out for whatever trade compensation New York can get. In a recent piece, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com runs through all the plausible scenarios for Darnold.

Trade him and draft a quarterback, keep him and take the best player available at number two, or keep him and trade down with a team looking for a passer. Cimini writes that “there are some who believe” the Jets could get more for Darnold than the Eagles got for Wentz. Philly, of course, got a third-round pick and a second-rounder that can turn into a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75 percent of the snaps for Indy this season. We heard just yesterday that potential compensation for Darnold would be a second-rounder, but apparently others in league circles think it would take more.

One league source highlighted to Cimini that Darnold is under team control relatively cheaply for the next two years as a reason why. If the Jets do decide to throw in the towel on Darnold and start over, Cimini writes that his “hunch” is that it would be for BYU’s Zach Wilson with the second pick.

Interestingly, Cimini says that a source from one team that had inquired with the Jets about trading for the former USC star “came away with the impression Darnold won’t be dealt.” We heard a couple weeks ago that multiple teams had called about Darnold, and it doesn’t sound like those calls were too productive.

Many have treated it like a foregone conclusion that Darnold will be dumped this offseason, but that sentiment is probably misguided. If he is dealt, one hypothetical trade that Cimini floats is between the Jets and Washington, with the teams swapping first-round picks (19 & 23), and Washington sending their second-rounder this year and their third-rounder next year.

If they stand pat at number two and don’t trade Darnold or trade down, Cimini currently projects them to take LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase as the best player available. We should hear a lot more about Darnold in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Wilson Declares For NFL Draft

A fast-rising quarterback prospect, Zach Wilson will depart BYU early. The junior quarterback announced Friday (via Twitter) he will skip his senior year and declare for the 2021 draft.

Not on the early-first-round radar going into this unusual college football season, Wilson has rocketed onto that tier. The Cougars quarterback finished with a 33-3 TD-INT ratio in 12 games, and his 3,699 yards rank third in the country. Also rushing for 254 yards and 10 touchdowns, Wilson led BYU to an 11-1 record this season.

The BYU quarterback has leapfrogged Ohio State’s Justin Fields, whom most expected to be the second quarterback drafted behind Trevor Lawrence in April, on ESPN.com’s Todd McShay’s latest big board. A host of NFL staffers believe Wilson will come out ahead of Fields, per Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com.

While McShay slots Wilson eighth on his latest big board, the value of the quarterback position will put him in play as a top-five pick. With the Jets missing out on Lawrence, who is the expected Jaguars selection at No. 1, they could turn to the ascending BYU product at No. 2 overall.

Wilson will join a quarterback class that is expected to include Lawrence and Fields, along with North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask. The Gators quarterback announced Thursday, as expected, he will not seek a now-available fifth season in Gainesville.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.