"A Jeff George by any other name...."
In the 10-15 years that I've been evaluating NFL Draft prospects, I've never started this late. I'm finally starting to work my way through the 2018 NFL Draft class. After viewing the most recent NFL Combine, I thought I would love Josh Allen's film, so I started with him.
Josh Allen (Wyoming) - 10' 1/8" Hands
6'5 - 237
4.75 (40 time) / 33.5" Vertical / 9'11" Broad / 6.9 Three-Cone / 4.4 20-yd Shuttle
Why to Draft:
Josh Allen has prototypical size for the quarterback position. He has freakish athletic ability for his size. These factors make it extremely difficult for defenders to pull him down (think Big Ben in this regard). Allen has insane arm strength and this combined with his mobility makes for splash plays that grabs the attention of scouts, fans and the media alike (ex: 2016 vs Boise State in 4th qtr with 6:43 left and 3rd & 13, down 28-20). He lives off of his ability to roll right and through from multiple launch points with surprising accuracy (Throwing motion similar to Kaepernick on these rollouts & freakish accuracy on these throws reminiscent of Jake Locker at Washington). Allen improved on progressions in 2017 from 2016 but still processing information slowly. Allen does show good touch, specifically on "go" routes and "wheel" routes down the left sideline.
Cause for Concern:
Josh Allen has to improve in almost every area of his game. He locks on to his #1 read and when forced to his 2nd read, he'll either bail the pocket or sling the ball into a non-existent window due to "ego arm". He doesn't throw with anticipation, instead waiting for receivers to show him their numbers (think Brock Osweiler & how he limited a dominant wide receiver like DeAndre Hopkins due to allowing minimal NFL windows to close). Allen lacks accuracy, even struggling with simple screens and taking off velocity on short passes inside of 10 yards (think Ryan Mallett firing 100 mph heaters to backs 5 yards away). His footwork is brutal and lacks timing on 3, 5, and 7 step drops. Allen has zero natural feel for pocket pressure. When pressure comes, he loses all poise and will just fire the ball into traffic, blindly (think Jake Plummer throwing a left handed pick, just to get the ball out). There's so many mechanical flaws in every aspect of Josh Allen's game. While he showed more of an ability to get deeper in his progressions in 2017 than 2016, his decision-making is awful and far too slow (think DeShone Kizer). In muddy pockets he never resets his feet to deliver the accurate throw, instead relying heavily on his rare arm talent and just slinging the rock with vicinity throws (think Jay Cutler). Ball location isn't even a thought for the young gunslinger.
Whatever team decides to select Josh Allen they're doing so based solely on upside and what they hope they can mold him into. I personally wouldn't be comfortable drafting Josh Allen until the 2nd round. However, I could see a team moving up into the bottom of the 1st round if they believe they have a stopgap quarterback in place and the right mentors in position to develop him as an NFL quarterback. The 5th year option is huge for a team with a young developmental quarterback with rare upside.
The New York Giants have the 34th pick in the draft, prime position to get back into the bottom of the 1st round. Eli Manning still has 1-3 years remaining. Pat Shurmur built perfect offenses to fit Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum. I'd trust him to bring along Josh Allen slowly until Eli Manning is ready to hang it up.
Shot in the dark:
My shot in the dark pick for Josh Allen is the Buffalo Bills with the 22nd pick overall. The pick they acquired from trading last year's pick to the Chiefs so that Kansas City could select Patrick Mahomes (they also have the 21st pick overall).