1. Josh Allen – Wyoming – 6’4 – 237 – Junior
Grade: 7.4 (Top Tier “Impact” Starter)
Two-year starter who threw for a collective 5,066 yards, 44 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, and a 56.2% completion percentage (365-649) over three years in Laramie, WY; he also rushed for 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons. In his first year as the starter, as a sophomore in 2016, he threw 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with 3,203 yards, before following that up with 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions during a senior year that saw him battle through injuries. Allen was expected to start the 2015 season in his first year as a sophomore at Wyoming, however he broke his right clavicle, which ended his season after just two games.
A hair short of 6-feet, 5-inches and 235+ lbs, Allen owns a massive Ben Roethlisberger/Blake Bortles-like frame that has room to continue to add weight and get stronger in the midsection. Physically, he displays great core strength for a quarterback with his ability to fight off defenders and slip through tackle attempts in a crowded pocket. In person, Allen’s arm is among the strongest that I’ve seen in the past decade. On the level of Matthew Stafford’s velocity and Joe Flacco’s long-range arm strength, there is not a throw in the playbook that Allen is not capable of making. Velocity and raw arm strength to drive the ball on 20-30+ yard routes outside the numbers are the best in this year’s draft class.
Displays very good balance in the pocket – stays on the balls of his feet and shows the rhythm to keep his lower half in sync with his upper body as he delivers the ball. Footwork will need continued polishing; however, he has a natural feel for when to step up in the pocket and drive into his throws. Comfortable working both from under center as well as in shotgun, and his experience running Craig Bohl’s pro-style offense at Wyoming should help accelerate his development as he makes the jump to the NFL, much the same way it did for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz when he came out of Bohl’s former North Dakota State program.
The most underrated part of Allen’s game is his mobility. In the same mold as Bortles, Allen is a naturally athletic prospect who has more than enough juice in his legs to escape the pocket and create on his own on the ground. I wouldn’t expect to see him ever become a consistent running threat, however his ability to buy time with his legs is going to keep defensive coordinators awake at night. Has a special ability to extend the play with his legs, while also maintaining balance and keeping his shoulders square, before unleashing an accurate and perfectly-placed ball down the field. His ability to change platforms and deliver a clean, accurate ball on the run is rare.
"Blessed with a rare combination of size and arm strength, Allen has one of the most talented arms to enter the league in the past decade. Yet, his lack of consistent accuracy and a questionable completion percentage will continue to stand out as warts on Allen’s highly-impressive resume"
Throughout his career, Josh flashed the type of small-window accuracy to make scouts salivate, however his biggest red flag has been the consistency with that same accuracy. A 56% completion percentage over 27 games does not inspire confidence, however when you look closer at the film you will find two things – a quarterback who was doing more with less than any quarterback in the country, and a gunslinger signal caller who isn’t afraid to let it rip at a non-Power 5 school with absolutely nothing to lose. The accuracy concerns showed up in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, where he flashed his big-time arm, but also exposed the fact that he will airmail some throws when he puts too much zip on it. Historically, quarterbacks who throw for less than 60% completion percentage in college have an uphill battle to success as an NFL quarterback. The team that drafts Allen will do so with the understanding that they need to reign in the “wild dog” part of Allen’s game, and provide him with a more structured and organized supporting cast, which will in turn also accelerate his development.
From a durability standpoint, Allen’s injury history will draw questions from teams and scouts. His broken clavicle from 2015 as well as the shoulder injury that forced him to miss two games in 2017 will be looked at closely by team doctors pre-draft.
Summary: In today’s NFL, with wide-open aerial passing attacks and the most athletic pass rushers to ever walk the earth, the prototype for a current NFL quarterback is big size, strong arm, and good feet – all among the greatest strengths of Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Built for scheme flexibility, Allen could play in a number of offenses in the NFL thanks to his unique package of gifts. Blessed with a rare combination of size and arm strength, Allen has one of the most talented arms to enter the league in the past decade. Yet, his lack of consistent accuracy and a questionable completion percentage will continue to stand out as warts on Allen’s highly-impressive resume. We grade Allen as a “Top Tier “Impact” Starter” at the quarterback position whose raw talent and arm strength figure to win out when teams convene to set their final draft boards in April. Allen has all of the tools needed to become a high-end, successful NFL quarterback if the team that drafts him can properly build a system and supporting cast around him.
Notes: Josh attended Firebaugh High School in California before going to Reedley Community College, where he led an offense that averaged 452-yards per game and 39.4-points per game, including 26 touchdown passes from Allen. Coming out of Reedley CC in 2015, Allen was ranked as a two-star prospect with just two offers from Wyoming and Eastern Michigan.