Thus, it doesn’t take a genius NFL General Manager to ascertain the direction the Jets are going in the draft later this month.
General Manager Joe Douglas conceded the obvious Tuesday: The Jets will select a quarterback at second overall.
“I think that’s a fair assessment to say based on the decision we made yesterday,” Douglas said, via via Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “You can kind of see the direction we’re heading.”
The question is: Who? Zach Wilson is the expected answer.
Former BYU and 49ers quarterback Steve Young said the Jets have “committed to Wilson.” Douglas didn’t dispute what Young said.
“Steve’s plugged into BYU pretty well,” Douglas said.
Young added that the Jets have “recruited the [Wilson] family.”
New head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur — both of whom arrived from the 49ers — attended Wilson’s pro day last month along with Douglas, who was seen talking to Wilson.
“It was good being out there at pro day, to speak to his representatives and say hello to members of his family,” Douglas said. “They put on a great Pro Day for the entire NFL. It’s a first-class organization. It was a good day out there. I’m excited about this class and quarterbacks. We have a lot of process left moving up to the draft.”
The Jets wouldn’t have traded Darnold if they didn’t know who they were drafting, assuming the Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence. And the Jets wouldn’t have traded Darnold if they didn’t believe they were upgrading the position.
The Jets know who they want, and it will come as one of the biggest surprises of any draft day if their choice is someone other than Wilson.
Douglas was asked whether the competition Wilson and North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance faced in college gave him pause.
“I think you just grade the tape you have seen,” Douglas said, via the team website. “Arguments can be made about strength of schedule, but that’s not the player’s decision. I’ve been around players from all levels that have been successful. We only had one all-star game this year. One of the cool things in the past has been being able to see small-school players line up against big-school players and see them compete — a Wisconsin-Whitewater player compete against a player from Alabama. I like to see how guys react. We only had that one game this year. What you try to do is evaluate a lot of the intangibles of players from smaller schools — how they compete, their makeup, heart. Try to focus in on why this is an inexact science.”