When making a list of the biggest draft busts of all time you don't get very far before mentioning Ryan Leaf's name. Taken one pick after Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft, Leaf's career with the Chargers was an absolute nightmare both on and off the field.
Luckily, after that, the Chargers franchise was rewarded with decades of great quarterback play to make up for it. Drew Brees paved the way for Philip Rivers who paved the way for Justin Herbert. Having that trio of quarterbacks back-to-back-to-back has taken some of the Leaf sting away.
Other franchises in the NFL have not been as fortunate. Plenty of teams in the league have been on the quarterback carousel with the hit rate of good quarterbacks in the draft being so slim. One of the teams that is currently on that quarterback carousel is the New York Jets, who just took a QB with the second overall pick 18 months ago.
Zach Wilson has been awful for the Jets and has been holding a talented team back this season. With how good the 2021 draft shook out, Jets fans have been yearning for what could have been in the same way Chargers fans did with Ryan Leaf. With Wilson and Leaf both getting picked second, they have drawn comparisons to each other by Jets fans. Ryan Leaf is not going to stand for that, though, and he made sure a Jets fan knew that on Twitter.
Ouch. The sad part is that Leaf probably is not wrong. His last 10 years, with 30% of which being in prison, have probably been more enjoyable than being a Jets fan.
The Jets are hoping for the same luck after Zach Wilson that the Chargers had after Ryan Leaf.
There are a lot of rumors about Jimmy G being the New York Jets quarterback next season and while that would be better than Wilson, that is not going to solve the team's long-term problems. If the Jets want to build a legitimate title window, they are going to have to bring in a true franchise quarterback.
The bad thing for the Jets is that they are playing so well that they might not get a chance to draft an elite franchise quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. Right now, the Jets would get the 18th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft but that could change if the team continues to lose with Wilson stinking up the place.
If the Jets can get to the 12-14 range then they could then at least trade up to get someone like CJ Stroud to be the quarterback of the future. If they are stuck late in the first round they are going to have to hope someone falls to them, much in the same way that Drew Brees fell to the Chargers in the second round.
Regardless, it is pretty bad when your quarterback is not only in the same conversation as Ryan Leaf, but is causing Leaf to roast your entire existence as a Jets fan.