As expected, Bills GM Brandon Beane took advantage of his assets and traded up to grab “his guy” in Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. According to Benjamin Albright, Allen was the #1 QB on the Bills’ board, so the board fell exactly how they needed it to. The former Cowboy comes to Buffalo as the newest hope to become the first true franchise QB since Jim Kelly retired in 1996.
This was damn good recognition and overall coverage by LB Leonard, but that pass was just better by Allen. pic.twitter.com/lMeyxCg1kF— Cover 1 (@Cover1) March 31, 2018
At 6’5″ and 237 pounds, Allen was the most physically imposing QB available in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has great mobility for his size (4.75-yard dash), big hands (10.13 inches), and undeniably the strongest arm of this class.
A staple in their offense. PA Flood. They typically target the intermediate out, that guy appears covered so he hits the under route as he is basically running backwards...IDK how he gets it there... pic.twitter.com/Qnlm45WVqE— Cover 1 (@Cover1) March 24, 2018
Analysts rave about how special this kid can be if his coaches can work on his deficiencies and make him a more consistent passer. But it’s not just about his physical traits. Allen’s head looks as impressive as his arm. He posted the best Wonderlic score among the top QBs of this class (37) and reportedly surprised teams with how advanced he looked when tested on the board.
By all accounts, he is an extremely hard worker and a coachable kid who will give everything he has to be a successful NFL QB. He always faced adversity (0-star recruit, no offers from colleges until Wyoming gave him one opportunity) and worked his way through it.
Just keep airing it out to Gentry. pic.twitter.com/yejte9AUdN— Cover 1 (@Cover1) March 14, 2018
On the other hand, Allen’s scary in many ways. He didn’t face the best competition in the Mountain West Conference and wasn’t able to dominate even there. He didn’t have the best supporting cast, either, and when you watch his film, it’s easy to see how inconsistent Allen can be from down to down. He can hit a strike in a very tight window and miss an easy swing pass to a running back on the very next play.
Yuck.. pic.twitter.com/7RvBn9qUiO— Cover 1 (@Cover1) February 15, 2018
His stats also don’t inspire much confidence; per Pro Football Focus, he had just a 65.7 adjusted completion percentage last year, which was one of the lowest. On deep passes, a supposed strength based on his arm talent, this number falls to 35.7%. He also struggled against pressure, posting a 56.1 passer rating in those situations, all numbers way below the other top QBs of this class. If Allen can become a franchise QB, he will certainly be an outlier.
At the end of the day, Brandon Beane found the face of “the process”. Allen shows similarities to Cam Newton, the chosen guy in Beane’s previous job, and it surely helped the Bills’ brass to be comfortable selecting him as their guy. Time will tell if this unique prospect can succeed at the next level.