Jets ‘committed’ to Zach Wilson and the 49ers are jealous: Steve Young
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The Jets have made their 2021 NFL Draft decision barring any drastic changes, according to ESPN analyst Steve Young.
Speaking on how the 49ers would love to draft BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the No. 3 pick, Young – the Pro Football Hall of Famer for his days quarterbacking in San Francisco – said the Jets are a roadblock to the dream.
“The Jets have committed to Zach and recruited the family,” Young said on KNBR Sports Radio’s “Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks” podcast. “I just don’t know how that gets undone, but you know, look, a lot can happen.”
The 49ers traded two future first-round draft picks in a package to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 last week. By making such a steep commitment, the 49ers essentially were saying there are at least three quarterbacks they think have really bright futures and they are OK with any of them.
The Jaguars are all but locked into taking Trevor Lawrence at No. 1. Even before Young’s comments, the Jets were thought to be favoring Wilson at No. 2 rather than sticking with fourth-year pro Sam Darnold. That leaves the 49ers choosing between Justin Fields, Mac Jones or Trey Lance at No. 3.
“There’s no question in my mind, if [the 49ers] can figure out how to get Zach, that’s their No. 1 first choice,” Young said. “I just don’t know how they get it done.”
Of all teams, the 49ers should have the best insight into the Jets’ thinking. New Jets coach Robert Saleh previously was the 49ers defensive coordinator and maintains close relationships with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Young, who also starred at BYU, also remains well-connected in San Francisco, so perhaps he is teasing another possibility by not completely slamming the door shut.
Could the 49ers have one more blockbuster trade in store, swapping picks No. 2 and No. 3 with the Jets? The 49ers set the market for such a trade in 2017, when they moved back from No. 2 to No. 3 and picked up two third-rounders and a fourth-rounder from the Bears.
In that case, the Jets would have to decide between pairing an elite playmaker with Darnold – or going with a different rookie quarterback.
“I think Zach would love it, the family would love, nothing would make anyone happier,” Young said of Wilson landing with the 49ers. “I think the 49ers, that’s their unstated first choice, so that would be wonderful. If it can happen, they would figure it out.”
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