Zach Wilson was a hot topic ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft for good reason—some regarded him as the best quarterback in the draft, while the majority of others put him right behind Trevor Lawrence. That conversation has died down some now that we’ve entered the preseason, with talk now revolving around how well Wilson will take the next step with a New York Jets team that has taken the proper measures to build around Wilson but has also had its fair share of struggles over recent seasons.
Much of the Jets’ success on offense this year will depend not only on individual play out of key names like Wilson but also on how quickly he can form strong chemistry with his receivers.
Moving forward, the on-the-field bond between Wilson and new Jets wide receiver Corey Davis will be something to watch—and it seems the two have already got a good thing going.
Wilson’s preseason debut unsurprisingly didn’t last long with him set to be New York’s starting quarterback when the team opens regular-season play against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 12. In limited action, Wilson completed 6-of-9 pass attempts for 63 yards in the 12-7 victory over the New York Giants. The first of those passes was a nine-yarder that sailed into the arms of Davis, who finished the night with two receptions for 18 yards.
The pass said a lot about what Wilson brings to the table as a quarterback—he got the ball out quick and put just the right amount of zip on it, totally in sync with Davis, who ran a crisp route out to the left sideline to move the chains and keep the offense on the field.
Davis is largely expected to be one of the Jets’ greatest offensive weapons this year, and was a prominent player for the Tennessee Titans in 2020, posting a career year with 65 receptions for 984 yards and five receiving touchdowns. Now in the fifth season of his NFL career, Davis has reeled in a total of 207 passes for 2,851 yards and 11 touchdowns in 56 appearances with 48 starts.
Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur has praised Davis for how well he fits into his West Coast offense and noted how his abilities specifically relate to the quarterback.
"I just think he's really good in this system because he's got physicality, he's got size, and he can put his foot in the ground, one-foot cut, and separate," LaFleur told reporters. "That's what this offense kind of started to become. It's a lot of just one-foot cut, separate, let's get the ball and go. And when you have a guy that can put his foot in the ground sharply, still run away from you, catch the ball, and like our quarterbacks feel that guy."
There was a time in which Davis was one of the most important players on the Titans’ roster, though he seemed to take a bit of a step back into the shadow of then-rookie A.J. Brown in 2019 before demanding attention once more last season. With the Jets, he has a chance to keep that momentum trending upward.