Josh Allen’s NFL Draft Stock Status
Where does Allen rank in early mock drafts
Draft season is underway
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen finished the 2016 season as the projected 1st overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen was coming off back to back nationally televised games, the Mountain West Championship game and the Poinsettia Bowl, when he got sucked into the ESPN hype machine. Draft prognosticators were touting him as the next Carson Wentz or Ben Roethlisberger.
Fast forward to September 2, 2017 in Iowa City, Iowa where Allen and the Cowboys offense struggled against a stout Hawkeyes defense in a 24-3 defeat. The bandwagon had derailed. A lackluster five interception game in Nebraska the previous season before followed by his clunker in Iowa gave Allen’s detractors the ammunition they needed to attack the loftly projections placed on him.
The Wyoming offense looked average through much of the year and Allen only showed glimpses of his talent that scouts had fallen in love with in 2016. His 2017 season concluded with a shoulder injury in the 2nd quarter against Air Force late in the year.
By this point in the year, his draft projection in many mock drafts had fallen behind UCLA QB Josh Rosen, USC QB Sam Darnold, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. Some mock drafts even listed him outside of the first round.
Allen made a return for Wyoming’s bowl game against Central Michigan, a game in which each of his 3 first quarter touchdowns showcased a skill that scouts had previously fallen in love with. Additionally, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was in Boise, on the sidelines to watch Allen light up the Chippewas defense.
As Allen’s competitors took the field in their bowl games, they struggled and left people with more questions than answers. Jackson had a sloppy, multiple turnover game while Rosen was unable to play due to concussion. Darnold couldn’t overcome an athletic Ohio State defense and Mayfield started the Rose Bowl with a great first half that soon turned to disaster in the second half when the Georgia Bulldogs shut them down. Allen suddenly jumped back into the conversation.
Where are we now?
Darnold and Rosen have both recently declared and are the front runners to be the first overall pick. With the outspoken Rosen stating that he’d rather be drafted by the right team than go first overall, you must wonder what Cleveland will make of that. The winless Browns will be looking for a quarterback and with all of the problems they already have in their organization, it would seem unlikely that they will draft anyone who isn’t fully committed and invested in their rebuild. If they aren’t sold on Darnold, Allen could be in the mix.
Allen’s current draft projections
Walterfootball.com (1/3): 15th to the Arizona Cardinals
CBS Sports (12/30): 6th to the Denver Broncos
SBNATION (1/1): 17th to the Los Angeles Chargers
Bleacher Report (1/3): 15th to the Arizona Cardinals
Yahoo Sports (1/3): 29th to the Pittsburgh Steelers
In these mock drafts, the two best fits for Allen would be with the Pittsburgh Steelers or the L.A. Chargers where he would have a chance to sit for a year. With Carson Palmer retiring in Arizona and the Broncos not having a solidified starter, those would seem like situations where Allen could get immediate playing time.