Jets draft BYU QB Wilson, trade up to take USC G Vera-Tucker

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BYU quarterback Zach Wilson holds a New York Jets jersey after being selected second overall in the first round of the NFL football draft Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

NEW YORK – Zach Wilson is going from BYU to NYC, shouldering enormous Big Apple expectations with the New York Jets.

Wilson was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday night after being linked to the Jets for the last few months. He's now the blond, blue-eyed face of a frustrated franchise that has gone 10 seasons without making the playoffs — and 52 without reaching the Super Bowl.

“There’s not another team I’d want to play for besides the Jets,” Wilson said on NFL Network shortly after being drafted. "We’re going to be a special team. We’re going for the Super Bowl.”

The 6-foot-2, 214-pound Wilson made a massive jump in his development — and on teams' draft lists — while throwing for 3,692 yards with 33 touchdown passes and just three interceptions last season for BYU. He also broke Steve Young's school record for completion percentage with an eye-popping mark of 73.5%.

“The things that we value out of quarterback play," coach Robert Saleh said, “he checks every box.”

New York gave Wilson an athletic and strong protector up front when it traded with Minnesota to move up from No. 23 to No. 14 and took USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker, whom Jets GM Joe Douglas said the team had ranked in their top 10. The Jets also sent two third-rounders (Nos. 66 and 86) to the Vikings for a fourth-rounder (No. 143).

The 6-4 1/2, 308-pound Vera-Tucker is expected to play left guard, where he was a standout as a sophomore before moving to left tackle last season. He will team with left tackle Mekhi Becton, the Jets' first-rounder last year, on New York's young, new-look left side of the line.

"He’s a guy who's going to come in, he’s going to be a game changer right away," Vera-Tucker said of Wilson. “And who doesn’t want to block for someone like that? So it’s going to be real exciting.”