Zach Wilson on Jets' Starting QB Job: 'That Position Has to Be Earned'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: Zach Wilson stands onstage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being drafted second by the New York Jets during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Despite having no legitimate challengers for the New York Jets' starting quarterback position, Zach Wilson does not expect to be handed the spot for Week 1.

"In this position, the coaches want to play the best player. That position has to be earned," Wilson told reporters Saturday at rookie minicamp. "I have to do what I'm supposed to do. That'll take care of itself."

Wilson will, barring injury, be the starter when the 2021 season kicks off. The Jets invested the No. 2 pick in the BYU product and then went to work surrounding him with young talent.

James Morgan and Mike White are the only two quarterbacks behind Wilson on the depth chart. Neither Morgan nor White has taken a regular-season NFL snap.

The Jets are expected to sign a veteran option at some point. Rich Cimini of ESPN reported they met with Brian Hoyer and that Nick Mullens is another potential option. Mullens has an existing relationship with new Jets coach Robert Saleh from their time with the San Francisco 49ers.

"He did a really nice job," Saleh said of Wilson's first day at camp. "The ball was in and out of his hand very crisp. He was in rhythm and was on time; the players were running the right routes. The ball was barely on the ground."

Wilson has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, and the Jets would be head over heels if they could get quarterback play approximating a Mahomesian level.