Zach Wilson is expecting to need some time to adjust to the NFL.
The New York Jets' new quarterback told reporters on Thursday that he was focused on learning the team's playbook so he would be able to run those plays without thinking about the fundamentals behind them.
"So for me, it’s working [this spring] on understanding the formations, so it’s super quick, understanding the alignment of where receivers should be," Wilson said. "And then you start to pick up certain things—certain coverages, how guys run certain routes. It’s going to be a process."
Wilson was drafted by the Jets with the No. 2 overall pick as the heir to the Jets quarterback position after the team dealt Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. If all fails, the Jets can look to James Morgan, who they drafted in the fourth round in 2020, or 26-year-old Mike White. Neither has taken a snap in the NFL.
But the Jets drafted the Brigham Young product to lead the show after Darnold failed to live up to the expectations that came with his No. 3 overall selection in 2018. He threw for 8,097 yards and 45 touchdowns with 39 picks in 38 starts.
Wilson starred last year as a junior, with 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and three picks. He ended his three-year run at BYU with 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns and 15 picks. But he doesn't think success at that level will naturally translate to the pros.
"I think the speed of the game is going to be faster,” he said. "Processing needs to be faster."
While Wilson is aware of the adjustment period to the NFL, he apparently is doing just fine.
Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media said Wilson "managed to keep things steady" for much of Thursday's practice, which was the first one open to the media.