Jets drafting Zach Wilson a sure thing? Week 17 NFL Mailbag

Welcome to the Week 17 NFL Mailbag! Here are your best questions from Twitter, including whether the Jets drafting Zach Wilson (QB, BYU) is a sure thing; the most underrated pass-rusher in the NFL; and whether Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has lost some shine.

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Jets drafting Zach Wilson a sure thing? Week 17 NFL Mailbag


Has BYU QB Zach Wilson solidified himself as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft?


I think so and that’s fascinating considering where we were at this summer. Many draftniks had a healthy debate before the 2020 season began about who is the better quarterback prospect was between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.

Lawrence remains the consensus No. 1 pick in this class, but the discussion as to who is QB2 in this class appears to be over. Fields had another strong year and could improve his draft stock in the upcoming days, but he is going to have a hard time passing Wilson.

What makes Wilson so special? Well, he has a lot of the same traits that make Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen elite quarterbacks. He can win in and outside of the pocket, and his playmaking ability combined with his arm talent makes him a quarterback prospect with endless upside. He also had a really strong 2020 season, completing more than 73 percent of his passes and throwing 33 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions.

Wilson isn’t the perfect prospect; he can be a bit too wild at times, and he will often bail out of clean pockets. But for teams searching for a playmaker at quarterback that can bring life to an offense, Wilson is going to be a popular prospect for early in the draft. But just how high can he go in the 2021 NFL Draft? Hmm … (Question submitted by @Chase_Swartz3)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onHDhCM1rg0


What should the New York Jets do with the No. 2 pick?


Speaking of Wilson, he is currently the favorite to be the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. It’s not hard to see the talent and his playmaking skills make him a worthy option.

But is this the best long-term move for the Jets? They could easily flip this pick for several other selections, building back up the offensive and defensive line and give Sam Darnold one more shot with a new head coach and a better overall roster.

However, that feels unlikely given how the first few years of Darnold’s career have gone so far.

The Jets will likely draft Wilson at No. 2 and see if they can move Darnold for a middle-rounds pick. They also have two additional first-round picks in 2021 and 2022 (due to the Jamal Adams trade), and those picks can be used to fix the offensive line.

In a conference with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, the Jets have to get the quarterback situation right. So selecting one at No. 2 is really the only option the Jets should even consider. (Question submitted by @YankeesJets2310)

 

Jets drafting Zach Wilson a sure thing? Week 17 NFL Mailbag also includes the most underrated pass-rusher in the NFL: Carl Lawson of the Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson (58) reacts while running onto the field prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. (USA TODAY Sports)


Who is the most underrated pass-rusher in the NFL?


This is a great question.

The answer is Carl Lawson with the Cincinnati Bengals, given just how dominant he has been at times this season.

Coming into the 2017 NFL Draft, Lawson fell to the fourth round due to a lack of size and length. Despite being incredibly productive in the SEC, Lawson wasn’t selected until Day 3. There were also some injury concerns that factored into his draft drop, but he was far too good of a college player to fall that far.

Earlier on in his NFL career, he was a part-time player and was often used as an off-the-ball linebacker rather than an edge rusher. The Bengals finally committed to him as a full-time edge rusher in 2020 and he has been brilliant.

While the overall sack numbers aren’t incredible (5.5), he has a career-high 31 quarterback hits. That is the second-most in the NFL, only behind T.J. Watt (41). Lawson also has 40 pressures, which is easily the most of his career and is among the most in the NFL. He is currently Pro Football Focus’ No. 12 ranked edge rusher in the NFL and he’s been among the league’s best rushers in the second half of the season.

Lawson is a free agent in 2021 and should earn a big contract as he is only 25 years old and is playing the best football of his career. Look for Lawson to be among the league’s highest-paid pass rushers as he has shown the ability to win one-on-one matchups with ease.

Other great candidates include the Dallas Cowboys’ Randy Gregory, the New Orleans Saints’ Trey Hendrickson, and the Miami Dolphins’ Andrew Van Ginkel. (Question submitted by @McCoolBCB)


Has the luster started to wear off for Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay?


I don’t think so. It’s hard to win consistently in the NFL, especially without a top-five quarterback. And yet, the Rams have won at least nine games in all four years that McVay has been with the team. They’ve had some unfortunate luck with injuries and a few bad losses. But overall, this is a competitive team despite having an average, at best, quarterback.

If this team can upgrade at quarterback in the next year or two and improve their secondary, there is no reason they couldn’t be a legit contender again in 2021. In fact, they aren’t even out of the 2020 playoff race yet despite the injury to Goff. With a win over the Cardinals in Week 17, they will be in and even have a shot at the No. 5 seed in the NFC.

I think McVay is still considered one of the top-five coaches in all of the NFL and he continues to find ways to keep his team competitive. So no, McVay hasn’t lost his luster at all. (Question submitted by @SchronMatt)


Thanks for reading the Week 17 NFL Mailbag! Please make sure to follow me and The Game Day on Twitter.

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