Josh Allen was one of the most talked about prospects heading into the 2018 NFL Draft. He was projected to go as high as No. 1 but ended up falling down draft boards a bit late in the process. Finally, just ahead of the draft, news broke that Allen had tweeted out racist things back in high school, which hurt his draft stock even more.
When everything was said and done, the Buffalo Bills ended up selecting Allen with the No. 7 overall pick. It was a pick that they acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and only time will tell if it was worth the big jump.
During his college career, Allen showed off an incredibly strong arm at Wyoming. He had some issues with accuracy as well as the questions surrounding his attitude and character. Despite those issues, the Bills believe that they finally have a long-term franchise quarterback that they can build around.
Buffalo will likely end up starting Allen as a rookie in 2018. A.J. McCarron was signed this offseason in free agency, but he has not proven himself to be a starting-caliber quarterback. Allen is built for the NFL and is a much more talented all-around quarterback than McCarron. He may not start game one, but by the end of the year he should end up being the Bills’ signal caller.
During the 2017 season at Wyoming, Allen dealt with injury issues that forced him to miss some time. He completed 56.2 percent of his pass attempts for 1,658 yards, 13 touchdowns, and six interceptions. In 2016, he completed 56.0 percent of his attempts for 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.
NFL.com had an intriguing breakdown of Allen’s game, and it is definitely worth reading.
“Likely be the biggest boom-or-bust quarterback prospect in the draft. Allen’s size and arm talent are prototypical for early first-round picks, but it’s rare to find a quarterback with such a low college completion rate become a successful pro. Allen’s receivers struggled to separate, but there were plenty of times where his lack of anticipation and post-snap plan did him in. Allen can make some truly special throws, but his ability to improve the mental part of his game will determine whether he’s a good NFL starter or just another big, strong-armed guy.”
Allen has a body built to be an ideal NFL pocket passer. If he can improve his accuracy, there is no question that he has the potential to become a star at the next level. He will also have to overcome quite a bit of media scrutiny after his entire draft ordeal.
All of that being said, what should the Bills and their fans expect from Allen during his rookie campaign?
Due to not knowing whether he will begin the season as a starter or not, it is a bit difficult. There are a couple different ways his season could go and we will take a look at each of them.
If he does end up being the Week 1 starter, Allen should have a solid all-around rookie season. Expecting a completion percentage of around 58.0 would be about right to go along with 3,200 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. Buffalo will need to bring in more talent around him for his numbers to take the next step.
On the other hand, if the Bills decide to start McCarron at the beginning of the season, there is a chance that Allen could sit the whole year. It doesn’t seem too likely that he would sit the whole season, but Buffalo may want to give their young quarterback a chance to learn from the sidelines.
While there are some doubts surrounding Allen, he has proved critics wrong his entire life. There is no denying his work ethic or his leadership, but he will need to prove himself again from a character standpoint for the fans to trust him fully.
Expect to see a lot of media coverage at Bills’ camp surrounding Allen and a lot of coverage throughout the preseason. His rookie season is going to be full of ups and downs, but Buffalo fans should be excited about their new quarterback.