Most analysts agree that Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback option set to appear in the 2021 NFL Draft this coming Thursday.
Personally, your writer is less than convinced on this, but then again, it's easy to be dissuaded by highlight reels and tape.
Regardless of personal inclinations, practically everyone with a pony in the race believes the Jacksonville Jaguars will take Lawrence off the board with their No.1 overall pick tomorrow night.
Where things are really hotting up, however, is concerning the New York Jets and what they do with their No.2 overall pick: will coach Saleh and owner Woody Johnson pluck for the Ohio State Buckeye Justin Fields or the BYU Cougar Zach Wilson?
Fans, analysts, ex-players... everyone seems to have an opinion on which of the two QBs is the better prospect, and so do we at Sportskeeda.
Read on to learn about some of the pros of each young signal-caller, as we aim to answer the seemingly unanswerable question below once and for all (maybe):
Should the New York Jets draft Zach Wilson or Justin Fields with their No.2 overall pick?
Making a case for Zach Wilson as the Jets No.2 overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft
Wilson's total career stats at BYU
- Seasons: 3
- Career passing yards: 7,652-yards
- Passing yards in best season: 3,692 (2020)
- Passing TDs: 56
- Passing TDs best season: 33 (2020)
- Career completion percentage: 67.6%
- Career rushing yards: 642-yards
- Career rushing TDs: 15
- Career Interceptions: 15
Zach Wilson has the creativity, arm strength, and dexterity required to make incredibly difficult throws look much easier than they should. The BYU prospect also has the ability to extend plays, sneak off on short bursts for rushing yards, and the accuracy needed to land a dingus on a dime from 60-yards back. In that sense, he is the closest thing to Patrick Mahomes in this year's draft class. That's not to say he is the next Mahomes; the Chiefs QB is a generational talent and it would be silly to throw a BYU prospect in the same category. But he is the closest QB in this year's draft class to the 2019 Super Bowl MVP.
Making a case for Justin Fields as the Jets No.2 overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft
Wilson's total career stats at BYU
- Seasons: 3 (one at UGA; two at OSU)
- Career passing yards: 5,701-yards
- Passing yards in best season: 3,273 (2020)
- Passing TDs: 67
- Passing TDs in best season: 41 (2020)
- Career completion percentage: 68.4% (70% at OSU)
- Career rushing yards: 1,133-yards
- Career rushing TDs: 19
- Career Interceptions: 9
Ohio State's Justin Fields is the exact QB most of us would build on Madden: he's strong, fast, has strength in his arm, can extend plays when required and, despite a few issues with his release, is accurate, too. There's not exactly a nailed on comparison of a QB currently operating in the NFL but, for my money, Fields is of the Deshaun Watson mold of signal-caller; he has similar traits.
Comparing the positives of Wilson and Fields
Looking at the above stats, it's fairly obvious to point out that Fields is the better athlete -- I don't think anyone is arguing about that. If coach Saleh intends to have his QB running the football, he has to go with Fields.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, however, is known to incorporate a West Coast style of passing offense and he likes to use a lot of play-action. And that's where again trying to pick between these two QBs gets so difficult: Wilson is the more stylish of the two and has the better throwing action, and potentially a bit more nous in the pocket when it comes to faints and misdirections, etc. But Fields' performances in 2019, when he so nearly won the Heisman Award, makes me second guess some of these analysts who proclaim him to have an 'elbowy release,' or to be limited in his range of passing -- watch the tape: I just don't see how his actions are detrimental to his execution.' The guy threw 41 TDs!?
Which QB will the Jets opt for: Zach Wilson or Justin Fields?
Well, the good news is that in about 24 hours, the entire world will have an answer to this question.
If you want my two cents' worth, I think it's likely that the Jets will go with Zach Wilson purely because his style of play suits the West Coast offensive scheme that Saleh and LaFleur are likely to incorporate at the Jets come the autumn.
But which player is better? I don't care what anyone says about his throwing action, Justin Fields would be my pick.
What do you guys think? Should the Jets opt for Wilson or Fields? Have your say in the comments section below: