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No. 2 pick quarterbacks

Zach Wilson part of troubling history

Watching the Jets-Browns game last night, I tried to see the good in Zach Wilson. He made a nice deep throw to Malik Taylor that went for 57 yards; that was encouraging. But he also fell down without being touched on a 3rd-and-2 scramble that went for a sack; that's the lowlight. The question is, is there hope for the youngster?

The Jets gave up a mint to bring in 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers, which essentially suggests they've turned the page on Wilson. Yes he'll be the backup this season, but if Rodgers actually plays two years in New York, the team will have cut ties and he'll be some other team's reclamation project a year or two from now.

Three decades of quarterbacks drafted No. 2 overall suggest Wilson is very unlikely to ever amount to much in the league.

It wasn't always the case. Archie Manning and Bert Jones; those guys had some good seasons. But looking at the last 30 years, there have been almost entirely misses -- one multi-year success story, and a bunch of other guys who had one good season, and that's it.

Donovan McNabb took the Eagles to a Super Bowl; he was also excellent in fantasy terms, with four top-10 seasons. That's your star from the past three decades of No. 2 picks. Carson Wentz did it twice, at the beginning of his career (also with the Eagles), but has bounced around the league since.

Otherwise? Rick Mirer and Robert Griffin, as rookies, had one top 10 season. And that was it for them. Marcus Mariota and Mitchell Trubisky never made it. Wilson is looking like he'll be even below the success of those former No. 2 picks. Based on his first two years, he's in the Ryan Leaf territory.

All the seasons from No. 2 overall quarterbacks from the last 30 years who started at least half the games that year are shown below, sorted by fantasy ranking. Setting aside McNabb, that's four top-12 seasons and a whole lot of junk.

2004Donovan McNabb, Phil.15300469387531822033
2000Donovan McNabb, Phil.163305693365211362965
2008Donovan McNabb, Phil.163455713916231114727
2017Carson Wentz, Phil.13265440329633729908
2001Donovan McNabb, Phil.162854933233251248228
2019Carson Wentz, Phil.16388607403927724319
1993Rick Mirer, Sea.162744862833121734339
2012Robert Griffin, Was.152583933200205815710
2009Donovan McNabb, Phil.1426744335532210140212
2002Donovan McNabb, Phil.102113612289176460613
2003Donovan McNabb, Phil.1627547832161611355313
2021Carson Wentz, Ind.173225163563277215114
2016Marcus Mariota, Ten.152764513426269349214
2007Donovan McNabb, Phil.142914733324197236014
2018Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.1428943432232412421315
2006Donovan McNabb, Phil.101803162647186212316
2017Marcus Mariota, Ten.1528145332321315312517
2013Robert Griffin, Was.1327445632031612489019
2022Marcus Mariota, Atl.131843002219159438420
2005Donovan McNabb, Phil.9211357250716955120
2020Carson Wentz, Phil.1225143726201615276521
2010Donovan McNabb, Was.1327547233771415151021
2016Carson Wentz, Phil.1637960737821614150222
2015Marcus Mariota, Ten.1223037028181910252322
1994Rick Mirer, Sea.131953812151117153022
2018Carson Wentz, Phil.11279401307421793023
1995Rick Mirer, Sea.1320939125641320193125
2019Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.1532651631381710193226
2020Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.91992972055168195127
2018Marcus Mariota, Ten.132283312528118357227
2000Ryan Leaf, S.D.91613221883111854028
2017Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.12196330219377248229
2021Zach Wilson, NYJ132133832334911185430
1996Rick Mirer, Sea.91362651546512191231
2022Zach Wilson, NYJ9132242168867102233
2003Rick Mirer, Oak.811622112673583137
1998Ryan Leaf, S.D.9111245128921580038

No offense is intended to this year's No. 2 overall pick, Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud. But at least based on where he was selected, it's an ugly history he's up against.

--Andy Richardson

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