National Football League

Zach Wilson is drawing Brett Favre comparisons – but is that what the Jets need?

April 13

Unless something shocking happens, Trevor Lawrence will be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft on April 29.

FOX Sports NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang has the Clemson quarterback as the top player on his Big Board. He also has him going No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

So do Jason McIntyre and Colin Cowherd.

But as sure a bet as Lawrence-to-the-Jags seems to be, there is some pre-draft buzz gaining momentum that the guy expected to go No. 2, Zach Wilson, might actually be the better pick.

Over the past week or so, there has been an increasing amount of chatter that the New York Jets might be making out like bandits after the Jags take Lawrence off the board.

It was roughly a week ago that Chris Simms compared Wilson to none other than Patrick Mahomes.

Simms was hardly the only person singing Wilson’s praises.

Then, on Sunday, ESPN’s Rich Cimini quoted former Jets quarterback Josh McCown saying that he thought Wilson would make a better pro than Lawrence.

"I don't think it's a bad pick," McCown said of the Jets. "I think [Wilson] has a higher ceiling and a better upside than Trevor Lawrence, personally. I like him a little better."

Finally, most recently, another ex-Jets signal-caller, Mark Sanchez, went all the way with his praise when making an appearance on Pat McAfee’s podcast, saying that Wilson "thrives in chaos" and comparing the young quarterback to a Hall of Famer.

"I think he’s Brett Favre-ish," Sanchez said. "He’s the kind of guy who will complete a left-handed pass at some point in his career. He might throw one around his back to the fullback. He’s that kind of guy, and it is so fun to watch. But for a coordinator, you just have to know what you’re signing up for. As soon as that ball is snapped, you might not know exactly where it’s going, but there is a good chance it is going to the right spot."

Is Wilson better than Lawrence? Is he the next Mahomes? The next Favre?

It all might seem a little bit over the top, though one could argue that that’s what makes the lead-up to the NFL draft so fun.

But are these real comparisons or just a hyperbolic way of saying that Wilson likes to improvise and has a bit of a "gunslinger" mentality – something Mahomes and Favre are known for?

Colin Cowherd, on Monday's edition of "The Herd," noted that he isn’t sure those comparisons are a good thing, pointing out that while Mahomes "thrives in chaos," he has a good coach in Andy Reid who makes sure chaos is a rare occurrence.

"If you’re on a team that is in offensive chaos, you have a crappy coach," Cowherd said. "Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees are almost never in chaos because they’re so good at the line of scrimmage. Peyton Manning audibled out of chaos."

As far as the Favre comparison, Cowherd pointed out that the legend led his teams to victory when he didn’t act like a gunslinger.

"Brett Favre threw an interception in every Packer playoff loss of his career," he said. "Nine times he didn’t throw a pick ­– they were 9-0."

Even Sanchez admitted in his appearance on McAfee’s show that Wilson might improvise "a little too much."

The bottom line, according to ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson, is that drafting quarterbacks is, in large part, a guessing game.

"Zach Wilson is a fine quarterback. There’s nothing wrong with that," Johnson said. "But to think he’s more ready than Trevor Lawrence or more ready than Justin Fields or more ready than Trey Lance or Mac Jones or any of these other quarterbacks, you just don’t know."

As FOX Sports NFL Analyst Geoff Schwartz wrote last week, it isn't always about talent as much as it is about organizational fit.

"Most often, NFL teams that draft in the top 10 are routinely struggling organizations that do not develop players, especially at quarterback," Schwartz wrote. "They fail to hire the right coaches and find the right players. That’s the simple way to look at the issue."

Will Wilson be the next Brett Favre? Will he be better than Lawrence? The truth of the matter is that nobody really knows at this point.

But the topic sure makes for some entertaining water cooler chat heading into the draft.

And there’s nothing wrong with that truth.

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