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Zach Wilson might not be a lock to go No. 2 to the New York Jets

Vincent Frank

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Over the course of the past several weeks, it’s been assumed that the New York Jets will take BYU quarterback Zach Wilson No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. This assumption has been made by league insiders and those who report on the Jets on a daily basis.

It makes sense. Trevor Lawrence is a lock to be the first pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars once the draft comes calling. While Wilson was neck-and-neck with Ohio State’s Justin Fields to be the second player off the board early in the pre-draft process, the former has taken over as the consensus No. 2 pick. Until now.

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“Are we all sure that Wilson is going second?” one longtime AFC executive told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. “Is that written in stone somewhere? Seriously, have they come out and said it? Maybe Wilson is the pick, but you can’t tell me he is absolutely a better prospect than Fields. We would take Fields there at 2. What if they do take Fields? Then San Francisco takes Wilson. Then New England comes up to 4 and gets (Mac) Jones. There’s no way that could happen?”

A respected NFL insider himself, La Canfora went on to indicate that this scenario doesn’t seem to be too crazy.

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Is there any way the New York Jets take Justin Fields over Zach Wilson?

NFL Draft rumors: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Dec 12, 2020; Provo, UT, USA; BYU quarterback Zach Wilson encourages his teammates during warmups before an NCAA college football game against San Diego State Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. Mandatory Credit: George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

There’s certainly an interesting backdrop to all of this. When the San Francisco 49ers traded all the way up to the third pick with the Miami Dolphins, it was noted that they didn’t even engage with the Jets about No. 2 overall. At that point, most figured general manager Joe Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh were locked in on Wilson.

All the while, most of the pre-draft talk has surrounded what San Francisco is going to do at two. They were initially linked to Mac Jones from Alabama before betting odds quickly turned in the direction of the aforementioned Fields. Meanwhile, the 49ers are on hand at Trey Lance’s second pro day with North Dakota State and actually helped set up the work out.

There’s a scenario in play here that suggests San Francisco pulled off the trade with Miami for the third pick to select Zach Wilson. After all, the teams made that move during Wilson’s pro day at BYU back in March.

This scenario includes the possibility that San Francisco knows what direction the Jets are going. After all, New York’s new head coach, Robert Saleh, was the 49ers’ defensive coordinator under Kyle Shanahan for the past four seasons.

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Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) attempts a pass against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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Interestingly enough, the Jets’ brass had conversations with San Francisco surrounding Sam Darnold before he was dealt to the Carolina Panthers earlier in April.

Does this mean New York is going to pass up on Wilson for Fields? That’s still highly doubtful. Even then, it might not be as much of a lock as we initially anticipated. At the very least, it could add to some major drama with the 2021 NFL Draft set to start next week. Stay tuned!