Jets HC Robert Saleh Says Zach Wilson 'Looks Beefy in a Good Way'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2022

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 09: Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets warms up prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh said he immediately noticed a physical transformation from quarterback Zach Wilson when he arrived for offseason workouts.

"Zach looks good," Saleh told reporters Saturday. "He's definitely hit the weight room. He looks beefy in a good way. He's definitely filled out. He's still got all his looseness in throwing the football and zip and all that stuff. He looks good."

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Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, is listed at 214 pounds.

For comparison, two of the AFC's top quarterbacks, the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (227 pounds) and Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen (237), checked in with quite a bit more weight on their frames.

The extra size pays dividends when forced to absorb hits, especially when a quarterback makes plays while escaping the pocket. Wilson showed some potential to do that while running for 185 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Of course, the main focus will be on whether the 22-year-old BYU product can improve as a pure passer in his second season.

Wilson completed just 55.6 percent of his throws for 2,334 yards with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions across 13 games in his debut campaign. He ranked 30th out of 31 qualified signal-callers in ESPN's Total QBR.

So far, Saleh has been impressed with Wilson's approach early in Year 2:

"He's got a really good early command of the offense and he's doing a really good job in regards to that. There's little things that he's doing where you're seeing a little more security. He's not a rookie, so he's being a little more vocal. He looks good. He's getting more comfortable, obviously grasping the offense. He's never had trouble grasping the offense, but he was a rookie so he goes through it. He's much further ahead at this point than he was a year ago, for sure."

New York's ability to bounce back from a 4-13 record last year to contend for a playoff spot depends heavily on Wilson taking a major step forward this fall.

The Jets haven't qualified for the postseason since reaching the AFC Championship Game in 2010.