Chad Johnson on Jets' Zach Wilson: 'He Has the ‘It’ Factor–Very Patrick Mahomes-ish'

Adam WellsAugust 5, 2022

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If New York Jets fans are looking for reasons to be optimistic about Zach Wilson in 2022, all they need to do is ask former Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Craig Ellenport, Johnson said Wilson "has the ‘it’ factor" and is "very Patrick Mahomes-ish" with the way he moves and his throwing mechanics.

"Zach Wilson is gonna flourish; he’s gonna flourish in New York," Johnson added. "It’s all about (Jets head coach Robert) Saleh … getting the right pieces around him. He and Elijah Moore, this year, they gonna create magic."

There has been a lot of hype around the Jets because of what they did during the offseason. They signed several free agents, including Laken Tomlinson, D.J. Reed, C.J. Uzomah and Jordan Whitehead.

Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders gave the Jets an A+ grade for use of resources and an A grade for improving their roster in his free-agency roundup.

"The additions give Mike LaFleur's offense an identity and Zach Wilson better scaffolding," Tanier wrote. "The retentions are an encouraging sign that Robert Saleh liked some of the things he saw in 2021 and that the Jets aren't falling into the change-for-change's-sake trap."

Following a strong free-agent period, the Jets drafted Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson II and Breece Hall with their top four picks.

As impressive as the Jets roster looks on paper, their ceiling in 2022 will come down to how their second-year quarterback plays.

Wilson's first exposure to the NFL didn't go well. He was the league's worst starting quarterback by expected points added and overall, per Kevin Cole of Pro Football Focus.

The 23-year-old threw for 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a 55.6 completion percentage in 13 starts as a rookie in 2021.

Comparing any quarterback to Mahomes is a dangerous proposition because the ways he is successful are virtually impossible to replicate. But the fact that Johnson can at least find some similarities between Wilson's playing style and the Kansas City Chiefs star is a positive sign that he will at least be better in 2022.


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