Zach Wilson used to make sure he watched Aaron Rodgers every Sunday when he was growing up.
On Saturday, it was Rodgers watching Wilson as the Jets rookie quarterback tore up the Packers’ defense in his second NFL preseason game. Wilson completed 9 of 11 passes for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help give his team a halftime lead at Lambeau Field before his afternoon came to a close.
It wasn’t just the numbers; it was also how he made the plays. He showed the mobility to escape the pocket when flushed out while also demonstrating an accurate arm.
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Wilson showed promise in his debut against the Giants in the first week of the preseason, but the numbers weren’t as flashy. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 63 yards.
The second overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft filled up the box score more fully in his second week. His first two drive netted just three points with a field goal and a punt, but his third and fourth drives both ended in 18-yard touchdown passes to tight end Tyler Kroft.
The performance caught the attention of Rodgers, who told the Packers’ TV broadcast (simulcast on NFL Network) that he felt he got to know Wilson through some offseason conversations. The two also spoke during the week at the teams’ joint practices.
“He’s a good young kid. I really like his disposition, his mentality. He can throw the heck out of it,” Rodgers said. “He had a really nice throw where he kind of broke the pocket, broke contain, moving to his right and threw it was down the right sideline. That’s the kind of stuff he’s going to need to do.
“As we saw this week in practice, they got a lot of young guys up front, offensive line still needs to gel together. I said, ‘Man, you’ve got to be on your footwork, and making sure you’re dealing that ball,’ because there’s growing pains as a rookie for sure, especially for a team that struggled last year. But I’m excited for him.”
Rodgers wasn’t the only one to praise Wilson, as others weighed in on the performance of the former BYU quarterback.
Y’all see Zach Wilson though ??
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 21, 2021
I know it’s Preseason but I tried to warn y’all about how ELITE Zach Wilson is!!! Don’t mind me tho and Carry on… https://t.co/OD6EGfYLdH
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) August 21, 2021
Zach Wilson slangin that peel!
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) August 21, 2021