The Jets will be in Carolina to face the Panthers in the first regular season game of quarterback Zach Wilson‘s career, which means they won’t have to look far to see a reminder that things may not go as planned for the second overall pick in the draft.
It was 2018 when the Jets made Sam Darnold the third overall pick and they didn’t think they’d find themselves in the market for another player at the position so quickly. The Jets struggled throughout Darnold’s time with the team and bottomed out by going 2-14 last season.
That opened the door to drafting Wilson, trading Darnold, and starting the season a matchup of the ghosts of Jets quarterbacks past and present. Wilson said on Wednesday that angle isn’t one he’s thinking about heading into Sunday.
“That’s definitely not something I think about,” Wilson said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “He’s doing his own thing now. He’s got a great situation going for him. I think the organization already decided to go one way, and it’s not because Sam isn’t a good football player. It’s just that they wanted a fresh start.”
Darnold referred to it as just another game and repeated “but it is” when questioned about that feeling, but coming out of Week One with a win would be a big deal for either quarterback starting a new chapter of his career this weekend.