Getty Images

The New York Jets have tried -- and failed -- finding a franchise quarterback before with Mark Sanchez and Sam Darnold. New York may have gotten it right this time with Zach Wilson

NFL on CBS analyst Tony Romo didn't hold back his praise for the Jets rookie signal caller -- before he even has taken a regular season snap. He sees the potential of Patrick Mahomes in Wilson, a huge compliment for one of the game's bright young stars. 

"It's rare for me to say someone has the ability to get in the stratosphere of a (Patrick) Mahomes, but I think this kid actually has that ability," Romo said on a CBS Sports conference call Wednesday. "So when you have a quarterback like that, I think there's no telling how good you can be. He can make up for a lot of weaknesses in a lot of areas for a football team.

"I think Zach Wilson is going to be in the discussion as one of the top three to five quarterbacks (in the NFL) very quickly. Within the next couple of years I think you're going to see him rise. I think he's unbelievable. His ceiling is so high."

Wilson will already have a bit of a head start on Mahomes, given he'll start Week 1 of his rookie year while Mahomes had a "redshirt" season as Alex Smith led the NFL in passer rating in 2017. Once Mahomes took the field, he rewrote the record book -- and is still setting records through 46 starts. Whether Wilson can reach those records remains to be seen. 

"They'll make up for a lot of that, and fast," Romo said. "We'll see how quickly he can do that, because the division is going to get tougher and tougher."

Wilson may be the breath of fresh air the Jets need, especially if they wish to compete in a division as talented as the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills are Super Bowl contenders with Josh Allen while the Miami Dolphins continue to rise as a playoff contender. Romo didn't hide how good he thinks the New England Patriots are going to be in 2021, saying "no one wants to play them." 

The Jets are coming off a 2-14 season -- and are tied with the New York Giants for the fewest wins in the NFL over the last four seasons. It's fair to be skeptical, but Romo believes Wilson will be the quarterback that turns this franchise around.

The Zach Wilson era has arrived! Don't miss any New York Jets headlines by downloading the CBS Sports app for the latest headlines and analysis. If you already have the CBS Sports app, don't forget to favorite the Jets so you never miss a piece of Gang Green news.