Jets GM Wasn’t Concerned With Schedule Zach Wilson Faced During BYU Career

May 10, 2021, 11:02 AM
Zach Wilson - New York Jets - NFL Draft...
New York Jets QB Zach Wilson poses for photos after being selected No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. (BYU Photo)
(BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – The buildup to the NFL draft strength of schedule was a big talking point around former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. referred to Wilson and BYU’s schedule as “cupcake after cupcake” and “sugar levels through the roof.”

New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas, who has an accomplished career in scouting from his time with the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles, cleared the quarterback room for Zach Wilson.

Douglas traded away Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers and later selected Wilson with the number two overall pick. The schedule didn’t faze the second-year general manager Wilson faced at BYU.

Zach Wilson played big in clutch moments

Douglas shared those thoughts in a radio interview with WFAN’s Boomer & Gio in New York City. Host Greg Giannotti “Gio” said to Douglas, “So, one of the criticisms of Zach Wilson in his college career was when he faced tougher competition at BYU, numbers not so great. Then he would feast on some of the lower competition. Tell me why that wasn’t a concern for you guys.”

“I saw a young man go into an SEC environment at Tennessee and win that game. I saw him play a ranked team against USC as a sophomore and win that game. Saw him play big in clutch moments. In his freshman bowl game, he went 18-of-18, had a tremendous game,” said Douglas.

BYU had six games against Power Five programs on its original 2020 schedule. Very few acknowledge that COVID-19 and the lack of desire from conferences to step out of league to play a program like BYU forced the Cougars to play the schedule they did last fall.

BYU finished with an 11-1 record, with the one blemish coming against Coastal Carolina, a team that posted an undefeated regular-season record.

“Obviously, they didn’t win that tough game down at Coastal Carolina. Unique circumstances. I don’t think that game was scheduled until Wednesday. So I didn’t necessarily have those concerns, we didn’t necessarily have those concerns, you know, we see a guy that plays big in big moments.”

Zach Wilson and the New York Jets just completed their rookie minicamp over the weekend. The next off-season event for Wilson and the young Jets is on May 24th for the OTA offseason workout.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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