Zach Wilson comments on being traded to the Broncos from the Jets

It was time for a fresh start for Zach Wilson
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos made a couple of bold moves at the quarterback position in the 2024 offseason. The first of which was actually striking a trade with the New York Jets for former 2nd overall pick Zach Wilson, who is indeed competing for the starting job in Denver.

At least as far as we all know.

According to Broncos head coach Sean Payton, Wilson was running with the 1st-team offense during the second day of OTAs, a day that was not open to the media. The media was allowed to watch the third day of the OTA session in which rookie quarterback Bo Nix took reps with the 1st-team offense.

Wilson still remains one of the most intriguing offseason stories for the Denver Broncos. He was the 2nd overall pick out of BYU in the 2021 NFL Draft, a draft that was highly intriguing at the quarterback position with five players taken off the board at that position within the first 15 selections overall. Of course, we saw an NFL record six quarterbacks taken within the first 12 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft, and we'll see if their fate will be any different.

Of the quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, only Trevor Lawrence remains with his original drafted team:

  • Trevor Lawrence: Jaguars
  • Zach Wilson: Jets to Broncos
  • Trey Lance: 49ers to Cowboys
  • Justin Fields: Bears to Steelers
  • Mac Jones: Patriots to Jaguars

The acquisition of Zach Wilson was actually a really smart move on paper for the Denver Broncos. They are taking a shot on a 25-year-old quarterback who has started over the last three seasons for the Jets, and someone who has not had the most stable of situations since he got into the league. And arguably not the best coaching, either.

The Broncos are putting him in a situation where he gets to learn from Sean Payton, who has a history of working well with "reclamation project" quarterbacks. Wilson might be one of the bigger "projects" he's taken on at this point, though.

After his first on-field OTAs in Denver, Zach Wilson had a little media scrum and talked about what he learned in his time with the Jets as well as what it was like getting traded to Denver:

"Obviously, there are bittersweet moments in everything. I am grateful for my experiences there and the guys—I miss the guys out there and everything, too. At the same time, a fresh start is good, and I’m excited to attack the new challenge.

I feel like you learn the most when things are not going the best. You bank those reps, and you learn from them. In three years of things being challenging, you’re going to learn a lot of things. Hopefully I can keep carrying those [lessons] with me."

Zach Wilson (via Broncos PR)

There's no question that Wilson was dealt a tough hand coming into the NFL in terms of his situation with the Jets. He took a pretty diplomatic approach to explaining how things went there, but we all know it was an abject disaster.