Zach Wilson
The Record

Zach Wilson didn’t give Jets fans much to love in 2021. Underwhelming on-field performances and a knee injury sparked a rookie year to forget.

There are still supporters of the young quarterback though. There remains belief the BYU kid can be the organization’s top signal-caller since the Joe Namath days.

Chad Johnson is taking it a step further.

From Sports Illustrated:

Zach is extremely good. He has the ‘it’ factor — very Patrick Mahomes-ish,” the former NFL receiver said. “I’m not saying he’s Patrick Mahomes, but you watch his mechanics, his throwing motion, the way he moves, he’s very Patrick Mahomes-ish. So I became a fan.

Now let’s not rush to roast Ochocinco for this take. He’s not actually saying Wilson is as talented as Kansas City’s Mahomes, arguably the top quarterback in the NFL. He’s basically saying Wilson has the potential to be the type of quarterback that Mahomes is, in terms of playstyles. Both Wilson and Mahomes sport big arms and can get outside the pocket — the former must improve the decision-making in that regard, however.

It’s the same concept as saying the Giants’ Daniel Jones and Buffalo’s Josh Allen can be the same type of quarterback. No one believes Jones should even be mentioned in the same breath as Allen, but the playstyles are similar (the big arm, the speed and athleticism, etc.).

Before Wilson can think about being compared to Mahomes, the 23-year-old needs to prove he can just be the face of this Jets franchise. He’s expected to improve this coming season, considering the offseason moves general manager Joe Douglas made to bolster his supporting cast. Wilson entering his second year under coordinator Mike LaFleur’s watch is also a reason for optimism.

Wilson regressing would make things ugly in Florham Park. Then you might start to hear fans calling for jobs, once again.

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.