As Zach Wilson gears up for his second year as the Jets’ lead signal-caller, a former Pro Bowl wide receiver is once again singing his praises.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Craig Ellenport, Chad Johnson likened Wilson to another star quarterback that took the NFL by storm their sophomore season.
“Zach is extremely good. He has the ‘it’ factor — very Patrick Mahomes-ish,” Johnson said. “I’m not saying he’s Patrick Mahomes, but you watch his mechanics, his throwing motion, the way he moves, he’s very Patrick Mahomes-ish. So I became a fan.”
Mahomes was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, though he sat behind Alex Smith on the depth chart during his first season in the league. After being named the starter in 2018 following Smith’s departure to Washington, the Texas Tech-product amassed 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns en route to reaching the AFC Championship Game.
Though it remains to be seen if Wilson will enjoy similar success in his second year at the helm, Johnson certainly believes so.
“Zach Wilson is going to flourish. He’s gonna flourish in New York,” Johnson said. “It’s all about [Jets head coach Robert] Saleh … getting the right pieces around him. He and Elijah Moore, this year, they gonna create magic.”
Moore showed flashes of greatness when he was able to stay on the field last year, though injuries ultimately derailed his strong rookie campaign. Despite playing in just 11 games, the Ole Miss-product led the Jets in receiving yards with 538 to go alongside five touchdowns.
As for Wilson, the young pass-slinger struggled in his first season, throwing for 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions. He was far more careful with the ball as the season progressed, however, not turning the rock over in his last five starts.
Following the Jets’ busy offseason, in which they signed free agent tight ends Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah as well as drafted wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall, Wilson will now have a plethora of new weapons at his disposal.
“I say this all the time when it comes to young quarterbacks,” Johnson said, “the better the supporting cast, the easier their job becomes, where the onus isn’t just on him to get the job done.”
Johnson has not been shy when it comes to commending Wilson in the past, even going so far as to label him the greatest of all time amid the 23-year-old quarterback’s recent dating drama.