The 2021-drafted Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and his career in the NFL have seen many ups and downs and in this article, we wish to discuss exactly that. The Utah native (born August 3, 1999, in Draper) previously played college football for the BYU Cougars and was selected second overall by the New York Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft. Over the trajectory of his career, he and his mother have publicly gained more fame in the eyes of the NFL and some league fans but Wilson’s career will not have inconsequential responses.
Zach Wilson: The Trajectory Of His Career Explained In 4 Points!
The Golden Boy of Utah:
In high school, Wilson threw for 2,986 yards and 24 touchdowns. As a senior, he attended Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah where he also ran for 752 yards and eight touchdowns. He decided to play college football for the BYU Cougars at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah. He had also received offers from Boise State, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon State, Syracuse, Utah State, Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada, Rice, Idaho, Weber State and Colorado State.
Many challenges followed the newly drafted rookie:
The second choice of the recent NFL draft, the new face of the Jets back in 2021, Zach Wilson, had several challenges to overcome. First, that of breaking the long chain of disappointing quarterbacks drafted by the team for 10 years. Then, of course, that of leading the team to the playoffs, unattainable since 2010, to the great despair of the supporters of the Green Gang.
When he was drafted Zach Wilson only signed his four-year contract with a team option for a fifth year on July 29, 2021, missing two days of training camp.
Back in 2021, Zach Wilson’s challenges aren’t limited to his team’s historic backlogs. He made his NFL debut on Game Day one against the Carolina Panthers. Overcoming several rookie challenges, during the 14:19 loss, he completed 20 of 37 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
In Week 2, he threw four interceptions in the 6:25 loss to the New England Patriots, two of them in his first two pass attempts.
In Week 4, the new QB scored his first NFL win as the Jets beat the Tennessee Titans 27-24 in overtime. In that game, the new rookie completed 21 passes for 297 yards and Wilson got two touchdowns and one interception, including a 53-yard touchdown to Corey Davis.
In Week 7, he was injured after a Matthew Judon hit at the game against the New England Patriots, causing him to miss the next four games through injury and being replaced by Mike White and Joe Flacco.
After his injury layoff, he showed himself in improved form, not having thrown an interception in the last five games.
In week 16, he won his final game of the 2021 season, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-21. He was able to get a touchdown for 52 yards in the first quarter.
He finished the season with 212 completed passes from 383 attempts. He also threw nine touchdowns and eleven interceptions.
Off the football field, social media went wild for his mother:
The scenography was planned to perfection. After his name was announced on the first night of the repechage, backed by thunderous shouts of joy and applause, Zach Wilson, still followed by the cameras, left the center stage of the show to return backstage. He was expected there by his family.
We then witnessed a whole Wilson hug: Zach, his girlfriend, his dad, his mom and his five brothers and sisters. Before our eyes, a modern and animated version of a painting by Norman Rockwell. The All-American family celebrating their entry into the professional league of the most American of sports.
This perfect image cannot, however, obscure what the Jets hope to silence as much as possible.
Some of her mother’s posts are oftentimes loud and out-spoken. One case in point was against Disney World, her anti-mask penchant, and above all the image of Zach Wilson since his mother is part of the portrait that the league has sold to fans.
Amongst her opinions on her political colors, is the many controversies surrounding Zach Wilson promoting his girlfriend.
That being said, the QB is not as controversial:
Zach Wilson is part of the generation for whom social networks are manifestos. All of this would have been less serious if he was a running back or a former octogenarian golf champion. But he is quarterback, the most visible position on and off the field.
Zach flirts more discreetly with some of the same ideologies as his mother. There was the very pro-Trump tweet from actor James Woods, which Zach Wilson liked. Then another post, this one disparaging of players exercising their constitutional right to protest, also pleased Wilson but all of these are insignificant as he is still a young growing man. All the New York team he plays for, the Jets need to steer clear off is the risk of sending him to Stephen Colbert, risking exposing him to questions about his political preferences!
Political swaying affects young athletes:
Zachary Kapono “Zach” Wilson is a Utah kid! But Despite recent flexibility and unlike the NBA, the NFL prefers its players to leave politics aside.
Beyond the traditional side of the media asking him questions about his games, Zach Wilson will have to resign himself to his practice and NFL starts since it is part of the brands now associated with Wilson.
A very specific communication strategy is needed with brands – like Nike, with which Wilson signed an agreement.
Nike will certainly be more hesitant to employ the Jet’s golden boy if he takes the risk of alienating consumers and fans of the Jets, who according to the Sports Business Journal, would have voted 53% for Joe Biden.
It is also interesting to note that during the 2022 November election, Jets owner Robert Johnson donated more than $2 million to the Republican Party. No other NFL owner has been so generous to Donald Trump and his troops. Therefore loyalty to the former president has existed since his first presidential campaign in 2016, and it landed Johnson, a longtime Republican, an ambassadorship to the UK.