2021 NFL Draft: What if the Jets don’t take Zach Wilson?

The New York Jets have seemed locked in on Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall, but what if they don't actually do it?

Zach Wilson, BYU, Jets, NFL Draft
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With the rise of Zach Wilson as one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, so too has it become inevitable they New York Jets will take him second overall. Finally trading Sam Darnold cleared the path even more. The Jets can continue to build around Wilson in the draft, starting with their second first-round pick (No. 23 overall).

But what if the Jets don’t take Wilson? One NFL reporter has opened up the possibility.

In his notes column Monday, here’s what Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote.

At least one team in the NFL is not fully convinced the Jets are selecting Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. And, perhaps, a few more.

It’s a thought worth considering, at the very least. And an option worth entertaining, at the very least, for a football franchise that has done such a horrible job of developing a first-rate passer. What if the Jets chose Justin Fields? Is that really out of the question? Is that somehow crazy?

Anything goes this time of year in the NFL, with the draft less than two weeks away and silly season in maximum overdrive. And at a time when there has suddenly been at least a little more wiggle room in Mock Draft Nation – and in Vegas – when it comes to San Francisco taking Fields and not Mac Jones with the third overall pick (readers of this space already knew that was coming), well, why is it not worth examining the possibilities that the Jets don’t grab Wilson?

An idea the Jets would take Justin Fields instead of Wilson is not far-fetched. Based on overall resume and upside, there’s a case for Fields as the second-best quarterback prospect this year. The San Francisco 49ers did not trade up to No. 3 for Mac Jones, despite that being the easy immediate narrative. If Fields is there at No. 3, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch won’t be able to call in the pick fast enough.

If the Jets don’t take Wilson, and take Fields let’s say, then he’d be available for the 49ers at No. 3. Or anyone else after that who might be looking at a quarterback. How far might he fall if the 49ers pass (with Fields gone) and take Trey Lance? Would multiple teams try to trade up to get Wilson? The Jets can set up an interesting set of dominoes if they don’t take him.

Everyone has assumed the draft starts at No. 3, or No. 4 with the 49ers assumed to have moved up for a quarterback. But maybe it really starts at No. 2, even with a nod to misinformation season suggesting the Jets aren’t a stone-cold lock to take Wilson.