2018 NFL Draft: Scouting Report for QB Josh Allen

Josh Allen has been talked up as a potential first overall pick but is he really worthy of such buzz? We deliver the verdict with a scouting report on the former Wyoming QB.

There’s nothing like a mock draft to stir a bit of controversy, and Mel Kiper’s did just that as his first mock had the Cleveland Browns selecting Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the first overall pick.

Allen has the raw physical tools to be a successful quarterback and probably would have been taken in the first round had he come out for the 2017 draft.

However, a highly disappointing junior season has led many to question whether Allen should be worthy of first-round consideration, never mind the first overall pick.

Allen will have the chance to prove his worth at the Senior Bowl this week and, ahead of the events in Mobile, we deliver a verdict on one of the most polarizing prospects in the class.

Positives

It is not difficult to see Allen’s appeal. He is blessed with a magnificent arm and has little issue flinging the ball deep and gunning it in with velocity.

Allen can put significant power behind his passes even when throwing off-platform and is more than capable of throwing with anticipation consistently.

Though he boasts a cannon for an arm, Allen has demonstrated a capability to drop the ball into his receivers with touch.

However, Allen’s upside comes as a result of how he buys time with his legs. Allen does an excellent job of escaping the pocket and boasts a 6’5″ and 233-pound frame that allows him to shake off would-be tackles and keep plays alive.

Always a threat to run, the combination of Allen’s mobility and his ability to make extremely difficult throws from any platform makes him a nightmare for opposing defenses when he is at this best.

The problem, though, is that Allen’s significant upside does not compensate for a number of substantial flaws that should prevent him from having success early in his NFL career.

Negatives

Allen’s biggest flaw is undoubtedly his footwork, which will require a significant overhaul at the next level. He consistently throws from base that is too wide and overthrows even the simplest of passes as a result.

Additionally, he has huge strides to make as a pocket passer. Allen is offen statuesque in the pocket but has also displayed a tendency to be too quick to try to leave and scramble.

He does not sense pressure particularly well and has also had difficulties scanning the field. After throwing 15 picks in 2016, Allen tossed just six in 2017, but still demonstrated an inability to look off defenders, forcing balls into coverage and making key mistakes in big games against Iowa and Boise State that contributed to defeats.

The Verdict

There is a quarterback void in the NFL, and it is likely that a number of signal-callers will be selected well ahead of where they would be were there not such a need for talent at the position.

Allen is one such case. In all likelihood he will be a first-round selection but, despite his remarkable athletic abilities and upside, is at best worthy of a day-two pick.

At his best, Allen can make some truly incredible plays that can confound defenses but, were he to be asked to start day one, NFL defenses would have little difficulty capitalising on the mistakes of a quarterback who misses far too many throws because of his footwork and struggles to take care of the football as a result of his inability to see the field properly on a consistent basis.

To suggest that a quarterback with such fundamental flaws should be the first overall pick is ludicrous, but the fact there is such buzz surrounding him is indicative of how desperate teams are to find the answer at quarterback. Expect Allen’s name to be called on day one but, remember that when it is, the team making the selection will be making a substantial reach.