QB Zach Wilson selected No. 2 overall in NFL draft by New York Jets
Years from now, New York Jets fans might reminisce about this night and remember it as the moment everything changed for the better. Or perhaps they'll just recall the moment with a forced grin and yet another rueful shake of the head.
It all depends on what Zach Wilson and his new football team can do next.
The Jets on Thursday night made Wilson their quarterback of the future, selecting the former BYU star with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft. When Wilson walked across the stage in Cleveland and appeared with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, it put an end to months of speculation and uncertainty about the Jets' future and replaced it with a new reality.
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Just like that, Wilson becomes the face of the franchise. That's not to say he will succeed or fail alone. What happens next will depend on how well general manager Joe Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh do their jobs. But ultimately, how Wilson uses his rocket-launcher of a right arm is likely to play the biggest role in defining the Jets' future, for good or bad.
Wilson enters the scene in a particularly bleak moment. The Jets have missed the playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons, the longest active drought in the NFL. And he'll face pressure after he was drafted higher than any other quarterback the Jets have selected since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970. Only one quarterback in franchise history has ever been selected higher: Joe Namath, who went No. 1 overall in the 1965 AFL draft.