Rookie Josh Allen was not the most polished of the rookie quarterbacks available in this year’s NFL Draft.
Still, when the Buffalo Bills traded up to take a quarterback with the No. 7 overall pick, they selected Allen over the more highly rated Josh Rosen — and pointed to Allen’s physical traits as one of the deciding factors.
“Talking about Allen, big, this is Buffalo,” said Bills general manager Brandon Beane shortly after drafting the 6-foot-5, 237-pound Allen.
Playing in a market that features some of the NFL’s worst weather conditions, the Bills were enamored by both the size and Allen’s cannon arm, which was on display on the last day of minicamp this week.
Allen culminated the final drive of camp by connecting on a 70-yard touchdown strike to rookie wide receiver Austin Proehl, who compared the former Wyoming star’s arm to that of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
“Cam’s got a strong arm,” said Proehl, per the Buffalo News. “I was a ball boy (with Carolina) so I used to always have to catch him. At first I thought nobody could beat Cam. But throwing with Josh and seeing the way that ball comes out of his hand, it’s close. I can’t. I don’t know. It’s close.”
Allen threw for 1,966 yards with 19 touchdowns last season, but had been criticized for his lack of accuracy. He has been working out primarily with the third team while A.J. McCarron and Nate Peterman hold down the top two spots on the depth chart.
“We’ll keep (the rotation) like it’s been,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott told the team’s official website. “Josh will be with the threes and the other two will be with the ones and twos for the most part. Periodically it’ll change a little bit, but for the foreseeable future that’s the way we anticipate starting training camp.”
During Thursday’s training camp, Allen tossed scoring passes on three consecutive snaps.
“It goes back to taking advantage of every rep that I get,” said Allen. “I’m just here to try and get better every day and try to be the best teammate possible. Getting better every day is learning behind Nate and AJ.”
McDermott noted the progress of Allen but wants to see more consistency from Allen heading into next month’s training camp.
“There have been moments along the way through Josh’s time as a Bill to this point where you think he’s a little bit further along in some areas,” said McDermott. “That said, he still has a lot of work to do.”