Josh Allen has more bust than boom

Nov 11, 2017; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Josh Allen (17) attempts a pass in the first quarter against the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Josh Allen is going to be a divisive topic as draft season heats up. The anonymous scouts will be buzzing about the high upside, or the huge floor of the Junior from Wyoming. While everyone will have their opinion, the risk seems to outweigh the reward when it comes to taking a swing on him high in the NFL draft.

Boom

Josh Allen brings the wow plays. This is what makes him a potential NFL prospect. Physically he has it all. He is expected to enter the NFL combine at about 6’5″, 235. When it is put together, it is impressive. Below, he uses mobility, and arm strength to throw a dart about 40 yards down the field, on the run, for a touchdown.

His mobility and athleticism buy him time to make this pass. His arm bails him out of having to set his feet as he quickly fires a strike about 30 yards down the field to move the chains on third down. The physical tools are there.

This is a pass that would be ill-advised for most. He is going from the college hash mark to the sideline. That ball traveled about 50 yards in the air. But, Allen threw a strike, high, where only his wide receiver could catch it. It takes ridiculous physical attributes to do this.

On top of that, he has the mobility make plays with his feet. When pressure breaks the play down, he can turn something from nothing. You can also design runs, and draw up read options for him to keep defenses honest.

 

Bust

However, the biggest issue with Allen coming into the NFL draft is going to be his accuracy and mechanics. His 56% completion percentage is telling, but stats in college never tell the whole story. The rest of the story says trust the stats when it comes to Josh Allen’s accuracy, though.

Below is a similar pass to the completion above. From the outside hash to the sideline, he misses a pass that is so off that his receiver doesn’t even need to try for it.

On a third and three he has his receiver with space towards the sideline. The pass is way behind the pass catcher and falls incomplete.

First and ten quickly turns into second and ten when Allen misses his man high.

This one really hurts. A simple pass to an open man next to him missed high.

This third down pass should have been intercepted. Allen is throwing into double coverage with sloppy mechanics on a pass that has no chance at all. On this third down it looks as though he processing things too fast. If the game is not going to slow down against Utah State, do we really think it will slow down when he is diagnosing coverages in the NFL?

A lot of his misses have to do with rushed footwork and delivery mechanics. Look how wide spread his feet are when he releases on the play above. When it makes the highlights we applaud it. On third and six and staring down the blitz it is heart breaking. Watch his foot work and what he puts behind this third down incompletion. No wonder it was so inaccurate.

The easy misses can be forgiven by game changing completions down the field. However, the pocket presence of Allen makes him an even bigger project.

Below, Allen stands in and does not even notice as the pressure takes him to the ground.

This play against Air Force is ugly. He just stands still for a second. That is going to going to get him hurt in the NFL. He is staring down a wide receiver before even noticing a linebacker is breathing down his neck for an easy sack.

This last play is just bizarre. Allen is doing what he does, extending plays and making defenders miss. However, on a pass that looks like it is being thrown away, he throws an interception to a spot where there is only a defender. These are the ugly down falls that are associated with betting on that upside with Josh Allen.

Verdict

There are two ways to look at it. When the play breaks down, and when the worst happens, Allen is ready. That is usually his best chance to excel. Some are going to have the opinion that by “letting him do what he does” he will be able to succeed in the NFL.

However, the fact of the matter is that Allen struggles with the basics. Not every play is going to be a 40-yard heave down the field off his back foot after escaping the pocket. If he is not going to be accurate, or show the ability to make reads down the field or against the blitz it is going to be a longer project than any fan base is willing to give the time to invest in. For Josh Allen, the bust potential outweighs the boom.

– Parker Hurley is Pittsburgh Steelers team manager of Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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