Zach Wilson has been traded to the Denver Broncos

After a tumultuous start to his NFL career, Zach Wilson will get a fresh start with the Denver Broncos.
Zach Wilson, all smiles before his game against the Miami Dolphins
Zach Wilson, all smiles before his game against the Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Zach Wilson was one of the most-hyped pro prospects to come out of BYU's football program--ever. Now, he's officially on the move, as his underwhelming seasons with the New York Jets have come to an end.

Wilson was reportedly traded to the Denver Broncos this afternoon, it was announced. The Jets will receive draft compensation in return for the former first-round quarterback.

Zach Wilson is the latest victim of the quarterback slaughterhouse established under the New York Jets. New York put their faith in Zach Wilson when they selected him 2nd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, following the failure of young quarterback Sam Darnold. Wilson is another failed quarterback prospect to emerge from the Jets, perpetuating a trend of underwhelming development from their young quarterbacks.

The Jets' developmental failures are mirrored by the Sacramento Kings of the late 2000s-2010s, with a player development program that spelled doom for young players hoping to establish themselves as professionals. Unstable environments for player development plague certain teams historically, and New York's reputation hasn't been improved following their failure to develop Zach Wilson.

Wilson, meanwhile, will get a chance at a fresh start in Denver. Under the tutelage of coach Sean Payton, who notably discovered Taysom Hill's Swiss-army knife versatility during his time in New Orleans, Wilson will receive a second chance to establish himself as a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL.

The BYU product's pre-draft hype raved about his natural arm talent, but his inability to read NFL defenses and make quick decisions has been a point of criticism that overshadows the promise he once showed. New York didn't provide Wilson with the tools to succeed in his early career, with a Swiss cheese offensive line and wide receivers who were all-world ball-droppers, New York's quarterback took the fall for their underachievement.

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson was attacked by pass rushers from the kickoff until the final whistle / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Though, it was often hard to defend Wilson's performance when I felt I was cherry-picking tiny highlights in a field of below-average play. His circumstances weren't ideal, but every minor success felt less like a step in the right direction, and more like we were cheering for our kid when they finally kicked a soccer ball towards the goal. "That's great! Just like that next time!"

Denver is without a starting quarterback for the next season, following their messy split with Russell Wilson at the end of the 2023-24 season. Clearly they had a few extra Wilson jerseys in their inventory, as a new Wilson looks slated to step into the starting spot, pending the Broncos' draft selections later this week.

Many BYU fans--including myself--insist that Zach Wilson still has untapped potential at this level. His outstanding performance against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs is a perfect example of what Wilson is capable of, if the star align. Up until this point in his career, that's been a big "if".

Denver is widely expected to target a quarterback in this week's draft, but Wilson's introduction to the Broncos' roster has sparked new hope that he can find a home in the National Football League. Let's hope that's the case.

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