Truthfully, I am not a huge college football guy. I watch the big bowl games and playoffs, but during the regular season the constant clock stoppages wear me out. However, the NFL draft really intrigues me, and no other prospect intrigues me more than Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.
I have seen him rated as the top quarterback and the number one pick in this draft (Mel Kiper) and have even seen him as low as the fifth best quarterback in this class (Bucky Brooks NFL Network). That led me to the wonderful world of YouTube. There is one YouTube account called “Cut Up Corner” that will post every throw in a particular game for the quarterbacks in this draft. So I decided to put together a scouting report of my own purely off of a couple of games on YouTube, an idea that I admittedly stole from Spike Eskin (a programming director for a sports station in Philadelphia). Why watch a four-hour college football game when I can watch an 8-minute video of every throw Allen has made right? Keep in mind, I have (somehow) managed to read none of his scouting reports in order to form my own opinions about him. Well without further adieu, I present my YouTube scouting report of Josh Allen.
The three games that I watched were:
A bowl game against Central Michigan (11-19 154 yards and 3 TDs) W
His first game of the season against Iowa (23-40 174 yards and 2 INTs) L
A game against New Mexico mid-season (16-28 234 yards and a TD) W
The first thing that I noticed about Allen was his arm. The ball comes out of his hand differently than many quarterbacks in the NFL. There is no other way to describe it other than there is just a different “zip” to it than you normally see. One throw, in particular, was his first one against New Mexico. It was a back shoulder throw that went 25 yards from the far hash to the sideline, over the outstretched arm of the cornerback. He put the ball where only his receiver could catch it resulting in a touchdown. That’s the type of throw and arm talent that separates a regular quarterback from an elite quarterback, and a clear indication why Mel Kiper loves him. He also showcased his ability to throw a pretty good deep ball in the games I watched. I hope that he ends up with a big-time receiver, like a Josh Gordon, to be able to really showcase his arm talent.
Another aspect of his game that I was impressed with was his elusiveness. In those three games, he only got sacked once while in the pocket. If a defender got near him he often evaded the pressure and extended the play rolling out of the pocket. A negative part of his game that he needs to break is that he relies on his athleticism too much at times. He has the tendency to evade a sack, roll out, and try to do too much, resulting in an even bigger loss when he should’ve just thrown it away. His elusiveness and athleticism remind me of a taller Tony Romo. A guy who has a great pocket presence and is difficult to bring down.
Overall, I am a big fan of Josh Allen as a draft prospect. I do not buy into the “small school” narrative that people threw around with Carson Wentz, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Steve McNair, Warren Moon, Kurt Warner… see what I am getting at here. Wyoming is by no means a football program that regularly produces, or plays against, pro talent, but if you can play, you can play. I think Allen is deserving of being the number one pick and the Browns should seriously consider him there. With the quarterback situations in Denver and with the Jets, I would be shocked if he fell past them, and unless the Cardinals sign Kirk Cousins, I don’t think he falls past 15. The tough thing with quarterbacks is that you can see their physical abilities but you really never know what is going on between the ears, which is a big aspect of playing quarterback in the NFL. If Allen can clean up the over-reliance on elusiveness and slight “gunslinger” mentality he has the potential to have a very successful NFL career. And I believe he will.