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Jets' Michael Carter: Zach Wilson Deserved to Be No. 1 Pick over Trevor Lawrence

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 14, 2021

AP Photo/David Dermer

New York Jets rookie Michael Carter thinks the quarterback his new team landed is the best player that was available in the 2021 NFL draft.

"He deserved to be the number one pick, if I'm being honest," Carter said on SiriusXM NFL Radio of Zach Wilson, who the Jets drafted at No. 2 overall.

Carter, who played collegiately at North Carolina, is plenty familiar with the No. 1 pick, Trevor Lawrence, since they faced off in ACC play. He called the Clemson star "elite" and "a special talent," but said Wilson had the upper hand. 

"He's a great player," he said before praising Wilson as a fast learner. "He's literally so good and he's so smart. He does minute stuff that just really wows you." 

Wilson ended his collegiate career with 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions through three years and 30 games at BYU. In 2020, he ranked second in the country in points responsible for (264), passing efficiency (196.4) and completion percentage (73.5) and was in the top five in numerous other categories. 

Lawrence, who was a starter as soon as he arrived on campus in 2018, finished with 10,098 yards and 90 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. He finished as the winningest quarterback in Clemson history and placed second in voting for the 2020 Heisman Trophy. 

Carter isn't the only player who has a strong impression of the BYU product in their first weeks as teammates. Speaking to reporters, several members of the 2021 draft class said Wilson reached out to them when they were drafted (h/t Max Goodman of Sports Illustrated).

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"I’m a big believer in bringing the guys around you together, having a strong connection with them. That’s a leader," Wilson said. "I’m going to be the man that they can look up to, they can call for any advice, any help that they ever need."

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