Jets trade Zach Wilson to Broncos. Reactions and grades for Quarterback trade

Jets trade Zach Wilson to Broncos. Reactions and grades for Quarterback trade


Five quarterbacks came off the board in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Only one remains with the team that drafted him.

Former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson will join that year’s No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance; No. 11, Justin Fields; and No. 15, Mac Jones in changing uniforms after the New York Jets traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos on Monday. No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence is still with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The full trade sends Wilson and a seventh-round – No. 256 overall – pick to Denver. The Jets receive a sixth-round pick – No. 203 overall – in return. The two teams are splitting the quarterback’s $5.5 million salary for 2024.

Wilson, 24, is coming off of a turbulent third season in New York. Thrust into the starting role once again after Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury in Week 1, the BYU product finished with a 4-7 record (5-7 including Week 1). He tallied 2,271 passing yards, eight touchdown passes and six interceptions with a career-high completion rate of 60.1%.

The former Jet now joins sixth-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham and 2023 XFL passing yards leader Ben DiNucci in the Broncos’ quarterbacks room.

Here’s how USA TODAY grades the trade as well as some of the best reactions to the trade from social media.

ZACH WILSON TRADE: Jets trade former No. 2 pick to Broncos, officially cutting bait on QB

Zach Wilson trade grades

USA TODAY’s Nate Davis graded the trade for each side.

  • Denver Broncos: C+
    • Davis writes: “They move back 53 spots on Day 3 of the draft in order for Payton to assess a once highly regarded prospect. For a team that had to add to its quarterback room, might as well take a flier on physical talent for virtually nothing rather than hope a Brock Purdy clone materializes.”
  • New York Jets: F
    • Davis writes: “There’s no other way to assess Wilson’s tenure other than an unmitigated disaster – especially when you consider the Jets could have taken WR Ja’Marr Chase, OT Penei Sewell, CB Patrick Surtain II or LB Micah Parsons instead while maybe giving Darnold a fighting chance. Heck, even Lance returned a fourth-rounder when he was dealt by the San Francisco 49ers to the Dallas Cowboys last summer.”

Zach Wilson trade: Social media reactions

Here’s how various football fans, analysts and media organizations reacted to the trade on X (formerly Twitter).

2024 NFL Draft: How to watch on cable TV and streaming

  • When: April 25-27, 2024
  • Where: Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan
  • Cable: ESPN; ABC; NFL Network
  • Streaming: NFL+; ESPN+; Hulu+ Live TV; fuboTV

HOW TO WATCH: Catch all seven rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft with a subscription to fuboTV

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