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Why there is hope for Zach Wilson with the Broncos

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To say that quarterback Zach Wilson hasn’t lived up to his draft status would be an understatement. The New York Jets selected Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and he never gave them the production of a franchise quarterback.

So much so that they traded for an aging — albeit four-time MVP — Aaron Rodgers and have since traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos are hoping that Wilson will thrive thanks to the fresh start, and keep in mind that Denver’s head coach, Sean Payton, is somewhat of a quarterback whisperer. He’s done great things in his career with the likes of Drew Brees and Taysom Hill as a head coach and as an assistant, he worked with both Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe. That’s not even to mention the 2023 season, which saw the Broncos go 8-9 with an — arguably — washed-up Russell Wilson.

So yes, there’s hope that Payton can help turn things around for Wilson. Even more so when you realize that Payton specifically wanted to go get the 24-year-old quarterback from the Jets.

“We just felt like, ‘Man, we’d love to work with this guy.’ It wasn’t too long ago, we remember grading him. Felt the investment was worth it, relative to his skillset and his talent,” Payton recently told the media (h/t On3). “We spent the better part of a month and a half working on that trade.”

The Broncos sent over a 2024 sixth-round pick (No. 203, which didn’t even stay with the Jets) in return for Wilson, so one gets the sense that they view this as a low-risk, high-reward type situation.

On one hand, Wilson could remain the quarterback who has thrown for 25 interceptions compared to 23 touchdowns over three seasons. That’s the bad.

On the other?

Perhaps the star quarterback who wowed at BYU is still available. If he is, Payton is certainly the coach to find it. 

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