Giants Legend Explains How Jets QB Zach Wilson ‘Can Elevate Talent’

Zach Wilson

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson on January 9, 2022.

As we know, the New York Jets have two top-10 draft picks in 2022 (No. 4 and 10).

The burning question around Jets land right now seems to be whether GM Joe Douglas should use both of those picks on defense, offense, one of each, or trade one of the two further back for more selections.

It’s an intriguing topic because the possibilities are endless, and WFAN’s Tiki and Tierney discussed how quarterback Zach Wilson might impact the decision during their January 11 show.

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Tiki Sees Important Traits in Wilson

While co-host Brandon Tierney stated that he believes the Jets should go one-and-one with the first-rounders, former New York Giants great Tiki Barber was clear in his opinion — all defense.

One of the major reasons behind that stance was Wilson. Barber explained: “The Jets are in a fortunate enough position to shift the philosophy from — we need to get a quarterback, so you got your quarterback — we need to get some talent around that quarterback, you got some talent around your quarterback. The philosophy needs to shift, we need to get a top-notch defense.”

Tierney countered that the offense is still incomplete, especially at tight end, but Barber continued: “I still believe in the defensive side of the ball, even though I know it’s an offensive game [now]… but I also know, this is my feeling, there [are] certain quarterbacks you know that can lift. Zach feels like a guy who can lift talent, he can elevate talent, and so I’m not worried about getting the next Julio Jones… [or] Justin Jefferson. It would be a luxury… I think the Jets have so much to do on the defensive side of the ball.”

The former running back went on, noting that while he loves the defensive philosophy from Robert Saleh, the franchise needs an influx of talent to make it all come together.

It was a very interesting take from a very knowledgeable football mind. Considering all the Wilson bust talk Jets fans have had to deal with in year one, hearing ‘Wilson the elevator’ after a solid performance down the stretch is simply music to the ears.

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Douglas, TNT Talk Year One of Wilson


GM Joe Douglas & HC Robert Saleh Season Ending Press Conference (1/10) | New York Jets | NFLJets general manager and head coach review the 2021 season. #NewYorkJets #Jets #NFL Subscribe to the New York Jets YT Channel: bit.ly/2KRtBJd For more Jets videos: bit.ly/2rkCbal For more Jets action: newyorkjets.com/ Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/jets/ Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/nyjets Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/nyjets/ Get the App: goo.gl/wg7imm2022-01-10T21:01:02Z

Tiki and Tierney also detailed Wilson’s long-term potential later in the show.

“[His ceiling is] impossible to know,” Barber began, “simply because you don’t know what’s going to be around him. You don’t know what the success of the team is going to be. I do know what successful quarterbacks have, what they possess, and it’s almost this shell of — I don’t give a you know what. And I’m not saying he doesn’t care, that’s not what I’m saying, but there’s been a lot of negativity around this team and around his play for a lot of this year and it never affected him… there’s a confidence in Zach in the way he carries himself, the way he prepares, how he wants to be — that gives you faith, it gives you hope that he’s gonna be really really good.”

He concluded: “At the end of the day, you gotta be able to execute when it matters.”

Tierney then touted his arm strength — agree with you B.T., he’s got a cannon — his moxie, his football IQ, and his athleticism. The only area Barber disagreed slightly with his co-host was arm strength.

Speaking of assessments, Douglas gave his take on the BYU product’s rookie season during his end-of-year press conference.

“I saw a ton of growth from Zach this year,” the GM voiced. “I think it’s difficult to be a rookie playing quarterback in this league and I know Coach [Saleh] has talked about it all season, but I think the strides that you saw Zach make after coming back from the injury — and on top of that not always being in position to be playing with his starters at all the skill spots, at wide receiver, tight end, running back — but to improve, to keep the team in contention late in these games a little undermanned, and on top of it taking care of the football, I think those were all very impressive things in the back half of the season.”

In the end, Douglas noted that the Jets “feel very confident about [Wilson’s] development moving forward.”

How do you feel about Wilson’s rookie campaign? And do you believe the Jets should continue to prioritize building around the QB or shift that urgency over to the defensive side in 2022?

Follow @obermuller_nyj and @BoyGreen25 on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes and more!


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