Zach Wilson

American football player (born 1999)

American football player
Zach Wilson
refer to caption
Wilson with the New York Jets in 2021
Denver Broncos
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1999-08-03) August 3, 1999 (age 24)
Draper, Utah, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:214 lb (97 kg)
Career information
High school:Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah)
College:BYU (2018–2020)
NFL draft:2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
  • New York Jets (2021–2023)
  • Denver Broncos (2024–present)
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2023
Passing attempts:993
Passing completions:566
Completion percentage:57.0%
TD–INT:23–25
Passing yards:6,293
Passer rating:73.2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Zachary Kapono Wilson (born August 3, 1999) is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at BYU and was selected second overall by the New York Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Early years

Wilson was born in Draper, Utah, on August 3, 1999.[1] He attended Corner Canyon High School, where he played high school football.[2] He passed for 2,986 yards and 24 touchdowns while also rushing for 752 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. Wilson originally committed to play quarterback at Boise State University before later decommitting and choosing to attend Brigham Young University (BYU).[3]

College career

As a true freshman at BYU in 2018, Wilson played in nine games and made seven starts.[4] He started his first career game against Hawaii, becoming the youngest quarterback to start a game for BYU.[5] He finished the season having completed 120 of 182 passes for 1,578 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.[6] He was named the MVP of the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl after completing all 18 of his passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns in the 49–18 victory over Western Michigan.[7]

As a sophomore in 2019, Wilson started nine games, completing 199 of 319 passes for 2,382 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.[8][9] That season, the Cougars were invited to the 2019 Hawaii Bowl, where Wilson was named BYU's MVP in the Cougars' 38–34 loss to Hawaii.[10]

As a junior in 2020, Wilson started 12 games and completed 247 of 336 passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions while rushing for 255 yards and 10 touchdowns, breaking Steve Young's school completion percentage in a season at 73.5 percent.[1][11][12] He helped lead BYU to a 10–1 regular season mark.[13] He was named the offensive MVP of the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl after completing 26 of 34 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns in the 49–23 victory over UCF.[14] He and USC safety Talanoa Hufanga were selected as recipients of the 2020 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.[1]

College statistics

BYU Cougars
Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2018 9 7 120 182 65.9 1,578 12 3 157.2 75 221 2.9 2
2019 9 9 199 319 62.4 2,382 11 9 130.8 68 186 2.7 3
2020 12 12 247 336 73.5 3,692 33 3 196.4 72 286 4.0 10
Career 30 28 566 837 67.6 7,652 56 15 162.9 215 693 3.2 15

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 2+18 in
(1.88 m)
214 lb
(97 kg)
30+58 in
(0.78 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
All values from Pro Day[15][16][17]

New York Jets

2021

Wilson in 2021

A top quarterback prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson was selected second overall by the New York Jets. He was the second of five quarterbacks taken in the first round and the highest drafted from BYU.[18][19] Wilson signed a four-year deal on July 29, 2021, that was worth $35.15 million fully guaranteed, along with a $22.9 million signing bonus and a fifth year option.[20][21]

In his debut against the Carolina Panthers, Wilson had an interception in the first half, but finished with 258 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a rushing 2-point conversion in the 19–14 defeat.[22] During the Jets' home opener in Week 2, Wilson threw four interceptions against the New England Patriots, including on his first two pass attempts. The Jets subsequently lost 25–6.[23]

Following a 26–0 shutout loss to the Denver Broncos, in which he threw for 160 yards and two interceptions, Wilson earned his first career win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. Wilson had one interception, but also threw two touchdowns and completed 21 of 34 passes for 297 yards. One of his touchdowns was a 53-yard pass to wide receiver Corey Davis that gave the Jets a 24–17 lead in the fourth quarter, with the team going on to win 27–24 in overtime.[24] Wilson threw his ninth interception during a Week 5 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons, making him the fourth NFL quarterback after DeShone Kizer, Zach Mettenberger, and Blake Bortles to be intercepted in each of his first five starts.[25]

During Week 7 against the Patriots, Wilson suffered a knee injury in the second quarter after being hit by linebacker Matthew Judon. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game, with Mike White replacing him in the 54–13 loss.[26] Following the defeat, it was announced that Wilson had a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which caused him to miss four games.[27] Wilson returned in Week 12 and won his first road game over the Houston Texans. He also scored his first rushing touchdown during the game.[28] Wilson lost four of his last five matchups, with his final win of the season coming against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16.[29] However, he improved his turnover differential by not throwing an interception in the five games.[30] Wilson finished his rookie season with 2,334 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 3–10 record.[31]

2022

Wilson missed the first three games of 2022 season due to a non-contact bone bruise and meniscus tear he suffered in the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.[32] He made his season debut in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and despite throwing two interceptions, had a 2-yard receiving touchdown from wide receiver Braxton Berrios and led the Jets on a fourth quarter comeback drive to secure the 24–20 victory.[33] The victory began a four-game winning streak for the Jets, although Wilson did not throw a touchdown pass in his next three games.[34] New York's streak ended with a 22–17 loss to the Patriots, in which Wilson had a career-high 355 passing yards and two touchdowns, but also three interceptions.[35] Wilson rebounded the following week when he completed 18 of 25 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown to help secure a 20–17 upset over the Buffalo Bills.[36]

After completing only 9 of 22 passes in a 10–3 loss to the Patriots the next game, Wilson was criticized for not attributing the loss to his performance.[37] Wilson was subsequently demoted to the third-string backup behind Mike White and second-string backup Joe Flacco.[38] Ahead of Week 15, he was promoted to the second option and started the Jets' next two games due to an injury to White.[39] However, after struggling against the Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 16, Wilson was benched for Chris Streveler in the Jets' eventual 19–3 defeat.[40] Wilson was demoted back to third-string behind White and Flacco following White's return and did not take the field again for the remainder of the season.[41]

2023

After the Jets acquired four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Wilson was named Rodgers' backup for the 2023 season, but took the field in the Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup against the Bills when Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury on his first drive.[42] Wilson completed 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the 22–16 victory.[43] He was subsequently promoted to starting quarterback.[44] Wilson made his first start of the season the following week against the Dallas Cowboys. After struggling in that game and the following game against the Patriots, both losses,[45] Wilson had a strong performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Jets' first Sunday Night Football appearance in 12 years.[46] He passed for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading New York back from a 17–0 deficit to tie the game at 20 apiece, but lost a crucial fumble in the 4th quarter that allowed Kansas City to close out the game and beat the Jets 23–20.[47]

Wilson led the Jets to three straight wins the following weeks, including an upset win over the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. However, following three weeks of struggles, Wilson was benched for Tim Boyle late in the third quarter of a 32–6 Week 11 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He finished the game completing 7 of 15 passes for 81 yards with an interception but also the Jets' first touchdown in 13 quarters of gameplay, also taking 5 sacks.[48] Following the Bills loss, Wilson was demoted to third-string quarterback for the second consecutive season, with Boyle and Trevor Siemian being named the starter and backup, respectively.[49]

After losing both games Boyle started in, the Jets released Boyle and renamed Wilson as their starter for Week 14 against the Texans.[50] In his return, Wilson completed 27 of 36 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions as the Jets won 30–6. He also finished the game with a 117.9 passer rating, the highest mark of his career.[51] Wilson was named American Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.[52] The following week against the Miami Dolphins, Wilson suffered a concussion during the second quarter and did not return. He was later ruled out for the remainder of the season.[53]

Denver Broncos

On April 23, 2024, the Denver Broncos announced that they had acquired Wilson and a seventh-round pick from the Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick.[54]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high
Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacks Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Y/A Lng TD Sck Yds Fum Lost
2021 NYJ 13 13 3–10 213 383 55.6 2,334 6.1 54 9 11 69.7 29 185 6.4 52 4 44 370 5 1
2022 NYJ 9 9 5–4 132 242 54.5 1,688 7.0 79 6 7 72.8 28 102 3.6 18 1 23 175 1 1
2023 NYJ 12 11 4–7 221 368 60.1 2,271 6.2 68 8 7 77.2 36 211 5.9 20 0 46 340 11 7
Career 34 33 12–21 566 993 57.0 6,293 6.3 79 23 25 73.2 93 498 5.4 52 5 113 885 17 9

Personal life

Wilson was born to Michael and Lisa Wilson (née Neeleman) and has three brothers and two sisters.[55][56] He is part Hawaiian on his father's side, with his middle name Kapono meaning "righteous" in the Hawaiian language.[1][56] Some other members of his family include airline entrepreneur David Neeleman and HealthEquity co-founder Stephen Neeleman.[56]

Wilson was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a child, a trait that runs in his family.[56][57] Wilson was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has said that he "didn't grow up active in the church [and] was never really a churchgoer..." He considers himself a spiritual person, telling Deseret News "I have always had a good relationship with God in my life."[57]

Wilson has been friends with Commanders wide receiver and former BYU Cougars teammate Dax Milne since childhood.[58]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Lundquist, Casey (January 12, 2021). "Zach Wilson Named 2020 Polynesian Player of the Year". SI.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  2. ^ Greene, Dana (January 8, 2021). "Zach Wilson's meteoric rise to the NFL started at Corner Canyon". ABC4 Utah. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  3. ^ Butler, Eric (December 21, 2017). "Corner Canyon star QB Zach Wilson signs with BYU". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "Zach Wilson 2018 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  5. ^ Call, Jeff (October 13, 2018). "Zach Wilson becomes youngest QB to start at BYU". Deseret News. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  6. ^ Robinson, Doug (August 25, 2019). "'All about family': How those closest to Zach Wilson – Ute fans to the core – influenced his football trajectory and played a hand in landing him at BYU". Deseret News. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  7. ^ Nothaft, Patrick (December 22, 2018). "BYU QB Zach Wilson a perfect 18 for 18 in Idaho Potato Bowl win over WMU". mlive. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Drew, Jay (June 22, 2020). "A 'bigger, faster, stronger' Zach Wilson returns to BYU workouts eager to reclaim his starting quarterback position". Deseret News. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Gonzalez, Norma (March 2, 2020). "Zach Wilson is still BYU's starting QB, but he may have to fight for his job to keep it". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  10. ^ Shimabuku, Christian (December 24, 2019). "Rainbow Warriors reach 10-win mark with last-minute 38–34 win over BYU in Hawaii Bowl". KHON2. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  11. ^ Lloyd, Jared (October 2, 2020). "How BYU QB Zach Wilson is slicing up defenses early in 2020". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  12. ^ "Zach Wilson 2020 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  13. ^ "2020 Brigham Young Cougars Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  14. ^ "Boca Raton Bowl – UCF vs BYU Box Score, December 22, 2020". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  15. ^ "Zach Wilson Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  16. ^ "Zach Wilson, Brigham Young, QB, 2021 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  17. ^ "Zach Wilson 2021 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  18. ^ Lange, Randy (April 29, 2021). "No Secret: Jets Select QB Zach Wilson with No. 2 Pick of NFL Draft". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  19. ^ McCombs, Robby (April 29, 2021). "NFL Draft: Zach Wilson Drafted #2 By New York Jets". Vanquish The Foe. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  20. ^ Lange, Randy (July 29, 2021). "Jets Sign QB Zach Wilson, No. 2 Overall Pick in the 2021 NFL Draft". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  21. ^ Cimini, Rich (July 29, 2021). "New York Jets' Zach Wilson signs rookie deal after missing first 2 days of practice, sources say". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  22. ^ Cimini, Rich (September 12, 2021). "New York Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson sacked 6 times but rallies in NFL debut defeat to Carolina Panthers". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  23. ^ Rapp, Timothy (September 19, 2021). "Mac Jones, Patriots Cruise to Win vs. Jets as Zach Wilson Throws 4 INT". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  24. ^ Costello, Brian (October 3, 2021). "Zach Wilson electric as Jets upset Titans in OT for first win". New York Post. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  25. ^ Dedaj, Paulina (October 10, 2021). "Jets' Zach Wilson joins beleaguered quarterback group with 8th interception". Fox Sports. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  26. ^ Costello, Brian (October 25, 2021). "Jets destroyed by Patriots amid Zach Wilson injury worry". New York Post. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  27. ^ Negley, Cassandra (October 25, 2021). "Report: Jets QB Zach Wilson has 'best-case scenario' with sprained PCL, out 2–4 weeks". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  28. ^ Fonseca, Brian (November 28, 2021). "Zach Wilson leads Jets to win over lowly Texans with solid performance in his return from injury". NJ.com. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  29. ^ "Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets - December 26th, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  30. ^ Chandler, Joey (January 9, 2022). "3 areas where Jets' Zach Wilson can continue to improve in the offseason". NJ.com. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  31. ^ "Zach Wilson 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  32. ^ Gordon, Grant (August 12, 2022). "Jets QB Zach Wilson suffers knee injury in preseason opener". NFL.com. Retrieved August 13, 2022.
  33. ^ Vasquez, Andy (October 2, 2022). "Jets' Zach Wilson comes up huge in clutch to deliver shocking 24–20 comeback win over Steelers". NJ.com. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  34. ^ "Jets coaches say QB Zach Wilson getting comfortable 17 games into career". The Orange County Register. October 28, 2022. Retrieved October 30, 2022.
  35. ^ Costello, Brian (October 30, 2022). "Zach Wilson became turnover machine in Jets' loss to Patriots". New York Post. Retrieved October 30, 2022.
  36. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (November 6, 2022). "Jets vs. Bills score, takeaways: Zach Wilson, defense fuel New York's shocking upset win over Buffalo". CBS Sports. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  37. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 21, 2022). "Jets rookie WR Garrett Wilson on offensive woes vs. Patriots: 'This (expletive) is sorry'". NFL.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  38. ^ Staley, Antwan (December 1, 2022). "Jets' offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur on Zach Wilson: 'He's handling it the best he can'". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
  39. ^ Cimini, Rich (December 16, 2022). "Jets' White not cleared; Wilson starts vs. Lions". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  40. ^ Smith, Coral (December 22, 2022). "Jets QB Zach Wilson benched in favor of Chris Streveler vs. Jaguars". NFL.com. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  41. ^ Holleran, Andrew (December 26, 2022). "NFL Starting Quarterback Officially Benched To Third String". MSN. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  42. ^ Allen, Eric (April 26, 2023). "Jets Acquire QB Aaron Rodgers From Green Bay Packers". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved August 1, 2023.
  43. ^ Kownack, Bobby (September 11, 2023). "Jets QB Aaron Rodgers exits Monday's overtime win against Bills on first drive; ankle X-rays negative". NFL.com. Retrieved September 12, 2023.
  44. ^ Podell, Garrett (September 13, 2023). "Why Jets' Robert Saleh adamantly believes in Zach Wilson as QB1 after Aaron Rodgers' season-ending injury". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  45. ^ Cimini, Rich (September 24, 2023). "Jets' frustrations build as QB Wilson struggles". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 2, 2023.
  46. ^ "Jets, Giants each get 6 nationally televised games in 2023 schedule - CBS New York". CBS News - New York. May 11, 2023. Retrieved October 2, 2023.
  47. ^ Schwab, Frank (October 2, 2023). "Zach Wilson plays well, Jets fight to come back and it's still not enough to beat Chiefs". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved October 2, 2023.
  48. ^ Ventrenov, Ralph (November 20, 2023). "Jets End Touchdown Drought in Otherwise Dismal Performance vs. Bills". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 23, 2023.
  49. ^ Cimini, Rich. "Jets bench Zach Wilson , to start Tim Boyle at QB vs. Dolphins". ESPN. Retrieved November 22, 2023.
  50. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Jets head coach Robert Saleh announces QB Zach Wilson will start Sunday vs. Texans". NFL.com. Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  51. ^ Walker, Rhiannon. "After a week of reports, Zach Wilson plays 'probably the best game of his career' in Jets 30-6 win". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved December 10, 2023.
  52. ^ Alper, Josh. "Zach Wilson named the AFC offensive player of the week". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  53. ^ Cimini, Rich. "Zach Wilson ruled out for finale, perhaps ending time with Jets". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  54. ^ DiLalla, Aric (April 23, 2024). "Broncos acquire QB Zach Wilson in trade with Jets". denverbroncos.com. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  55. ^ "Zach Wilson – Football". byucougars.com. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  56. ^ a b c d Robinson, Doug (April 22, 2021). "'All about family': How those closest to Zach Wilson – Ute fans to the core – influenced his football trajectory and played a hand in landing him at BYU". Deseret.com. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  57. ^ a b Drew, Jay (April 23, 2021). "BYU's Zach Wilson: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of a future first-round NFL draft pick". Deseret.com. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  58. ^ Harper, Mitch (February 5, 2022). "Zach Wilson, Dax Milne Return To Campus, Attend BYU Basketball Game". KSLSports.com. Retrieved July 28, 2022.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zach Wilson.
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