New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is in the midst of his rookie training camp and early reports out of practice indicate the 2021 No. 2 overall pick is having some early struggles. Although not uncommon, the 22-year-old’s preseason woes have already sparked some doubts about his potential around the league.
For FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd, Wilson’s performance in practice isn’t completely the issue. Instead, it’s his supposed similarities to a former college football icon that struggled upon his arrival to the NFL: Johnny Manziel.
Cowherd made a brief case, comparing the two undersized quarterbacks on Tuesday and expressed his concern that the Jets rookie was a bit too similar to the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.
“Zach Wilson reminds me a little too much of Johnny Manziel. Small, cocky and comes from wealth,” Cowherd said during Tuesday’s episode of The Herd. “[I] hope he does well, but there’s a little Johnny Manziel here.
"Zach Wilson reminds me a little too much of Johnny Manziel. Small, cocky and comes from wealth."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 10, 2021
Apart from the fact that both quarterbacks are under six-foot-three and came into the league around 210 pounds, the comparison isn’t exactly the strongest. Manziel had his fair share of issues off-the-field back in college, which carried over into his professional career and ultimately led to his early departure from the NFL. Wilson hasn’t shown any sign of problems with his attitude or gotten into any trouble off the field, so comparing the two in any manner at this point seems a bit ridiculous.
Still, the Jets quarterback knows that he needs to clean up his play on the field before the start of the regular season. After a Saturday scrimmage, he called his performance “not great”, indicating that he knows he needs to improve.
“For most rookies, it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Robert Saleh said Monday, via SNY. “It is what it is. There’s a lot of things that happen. There’s a reason why being a rookie is hard in this league. There was a Hall of Famer yesterday (Peyton Manning) that was inducted that had a 71 quarterback rating his rookie year. It’s not easy to play quarterback in this league as a rookie. Especially quarterback. It is going to get worse before it gets better. He’s at that point now where he’s going to be able to stack up days. We got the utmost confidence in him and his ability and his ability to figure out his mistakes, correct them and get to a better place.”