Things have been relatively quiet for former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen over the past week, now that the Reese’s Senior Bowl has concluded and the NFL Combine is weeks away. Allen did receive an invitation to the Combine this week, but that was a mere formality.
Still, there’s never a lack of speculation when the NFL Draft is in sight. Let’s take a look at what’s been said about Allen over the past seven days.
Tony Pauline, DraftAnalyst.com
The idea of Allen heading 2 hours south to the Denver Broncos has been floated frequently in the past couple months. Broncos general manager John Elway made the trip to Wyoming’s Potato Bowl game in Boise, Idaho, where Allen put on a show in the first half and earned MVP honors. And the Broncos staff coached Allen — as well as Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, by request — at the Senior Bowl, where Allen earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the North team.
But it sounds as though Elway’s team could be headed in a different direction. With the recent trade of Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins, many have projected that Kirk Cousins would wind up moving from Washington to Denver. If the Broncos do draft a quarterback, though, Pauline reports that it will likely be a different quarterback, as long as he’s available. Pauline projected Allen to go to the New York Giants.
“By all accounts that I was told at the Senior Bowl, the Broncos and Elway prefer Rosen,” Pauline wrote, referring to UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson appeared to support that sentiment: “A league source familiar with the Broncos’ front office told Yahoo Sports that general manager John Elway and personnel rover Gary Kubiak believe that UCLA’s Rosen has the purest passing stroke in this draft. An appreciation that is said to be so strong, Rosen would be a virtual lock at the fifth overall pick if he was still on the board. Of course, it’s also January and there are other phases of assessment ahead.”
Darryl Slater, NJ.com
Allen was considered by some the player with the most to prove at the Senior Bowl, and though he did not have a perfect week, his performance in the game itself couldn’t have hurt. But Allen likely still has more to prove. Hence, Slater’s suggestion that Allen is a potential Jets draftee with a lot to prove at the NFL Combine.
“Accuracy was an issue for Allen at Wyoming, and part of the reason why some draft analysts slot him and Mayfield (who also has size concerns) behind Darnold and Rosen,” Slater wrote. “Allen has the physical stature to be an NFL quarterback. But what about the accuracy stuff? He’ll need to answer questions about his accuracy with his performance in the on-field drills at the combine. He has a whole lot to prove in Indianapolis.”
Jordan McNamara, FantasyPros
Before long, we could be discussing Allen as a fantasy draft choice. McNamara took a look at how Allen might stack up in that regard.
“During Allen’s college career at Wyoming, he averaged 7.8 yards per attempt (Y/A), a touchdown rate (TD%) of 6.51%, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 1.95 (TD/Att.), McNamara writes. “Allen’s best attribute TD%, which puts him above average for a top half of the Round 1 quarterback. Allen’s Y/A is an above average Round 2 pick, while his abysmal TD/INT ratio is a below average Day Three projection.
“Among quarterbacks drafted since 2000, Allen’s metrics put him in the top 30% of TD%., but in the bottom 40% of TD/INT ratio, while his Y/A is just above average (53%). Allen’s profile points to a quarterback capable of scoring touchdowns, but at high risk, with accuracy problems that cap a genuinely efficient yardage gaining offense.”
For comparison’s sake, McNamara found which other quarterbacks were “either 10 percent higher or lower than each of Allen’s marks.” He turned up Chris Simms and Jesse Palmer.
“Allen is in the conversation of the top QB in the draft, a position that is not warranted by his college statistics,” McNamara wrote. “His supporters will point to his arm strength, but his tape shows consistent struggles with accuracy and ball placement. He will be a project in the NFL and is no better than the fourth rookie quarterback in dynasty drafts.”
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com
ESPN’s Todd McShay projected Allen to go to the New York Jets in his latest mock draft. Cimini talked to former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington about his observations of Allen at the Senior Bowl.
“There aren’t many arms like his,” Pennington told Cimini. “The challenge for him — he and I talked about this — is understanding that every pass doesn’t need to be a 100 mph fastball. There’s a difference between throwing and passing the ball. His challenge will be to hone his skills as a passer, knowing when to take advantage of that elite arm strength he has.
“There are plenty of times when it’s not about the arm strength. It’s about the touch, the zip, the accuracy, the ball placement that separates this league from college. No doubt, he’s a guy — 6-foot-4, 240 — who can move, can extend plays and make any throw on the field.”
Mark Bullock, Washington Post
Allen got the WaPo treatment this week, as Bullock explored his strengths and weaknesses by reviewing tape of individual plays.
Strengths: “The thing that is immediately noticeable when watching Allen is his arm strength. He has a cannon arm and can make any throw from multiple arm slots and varying bases.”
Weaknesses: “While Allen will make some incredible throws, he can also be extremely frustrating. For as much talent as he has, he misses too many easy throws.”
Dan Graziano, ESPN.com
Graziano is not the first ESPN analyst to project Josh Allen to the Cleveland Browns. But he also did us the favor of answering another part of that equation in his 10 predictions for next season: What veteran quarterback will Allen be paired with? Many have suggested that Allen would be drafted to sit behind an experienced vet with the Browns. Graziano predicted that it would be AJ McCarron.
“The Browns take the big Wyoming quarterback No. 1 overall but sit him for at least a year behind AJ McCarron, whom they acquire when they lose out on Cousins,” Graziano wrote. “McCarron doesn’t love having to play with a first-round pick looking over his shoulder, but his reunion with coach Hue Jackson — his former offensive coordinator in Cincinnati — makes it more palatable. Besides, if you can win a couple of games with the Browns, think of how attractive that would look to future employers.”