A two-year starter at Wyoming, Allen was under center and shotgun in the Cowboys’ offense, which highlighted both pocket and motion throws (near-identical offense that Carson Wentz ran at North Dakota State). He created a buzz in the scouting community in 2016 with his toolsy skill-set, creating expectations for the 2017 season that Allen was unable to match.
However, his junior year evaluation was tainted by a below average supporting cast, losing the top two running backs (Brian Hill and Shaun Wick, who rushed for 2,214 rushing yards in 2016) and his top-three pass-catchers (Tanner Gentry, Jake Maulhardt and Jacob Hollister), who accounted for 68.4-percent of his completions from the previous season – also lost his center (Chase Roullier), who was the glue of the offensive line.
Although there are times on film when Allen makes left-to-right whole reads and fires a strike that only few quarterbacks can make, there are more examples of him not anticipating or pulling the trigger quick enough – his inconsistent processing speed from the pocket isn’t NFL ready and clouds his projection. His elite physical characteristics (size, athleticism and arm) and competitive spirit make him scouting catnip, but his unbalanced mechanics, sporadic ball placement and undeveloped instincts are troubling red flags. Allen has the consistency and production of a later round prospect, making his draft “value” a hotly debated subject in war rooms because so much of his projection is potential-based – obvious candidate to be overdrafted by a team betting on his ceiling.
A no-star recruit out of high school, Joshua “Josh” Allen grew up on a small grain and cotton farm in Northern California and played a variety of sports instead of attending recruiting camps, causing him to go overlooked by college programs. His only opportunity was at Reedley Community College where he led an offense that averaged 452.2 yards, drawing attention from an assistant coach from Wyoming, who was there to another Reedley player. Allen received two FBS-level offers (Eastern Michigan and Wyoming) and was quickly sold on Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl (only the second ever athlete out of Firebaugh to sign with a Division-I program). In his first career start at Wyoming, he suffered an injury that ended his 2015 season, taking a medical redshirt. Allen became the starter as a redshirt sophomore in 2016 and completed 56.0-percent of his passes (209-for-373) for 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, adding seven rushing scores. He flirted with leaving early for the NFL Draft before deciding to stay in Laramie for the 2017 season. With several new starters on offense, Allen saw his production decline as a junior.
Elite physical characteristics. Tall, athletic frame, adding 60 pounds of well-distributed weight since high school. Loose arm to deliver crisp throws with unforced velocity. Drives the ball with extra juice when needed to thread the needle. Fluid athlete for his size with the functional movements to extend plays with his legs. Comfortable throwing from all platforms or on the move.
Shows an understanding of touch and when to take RPMs off his fastball. Durable and has the body type to withstand punishing hits (carried the ball 230 times in college, including 6-8 quarterback designed runs each game). Unquestioned toughness after the constant abuse he faced in college. Intelligent with excellent retention and preparation habits, according to his coaches. Says and does the right things away from the field. - Dane Brugler 11/28/2017
Inconsistent timing and efficiency from snap to delivery. Sloppy mechanics, especially his lower half, leading to accuracy problems. Doesn't anticipate passing windows and holds the ball too long. Late breaking down coverages and needs to quicken his eyes and expand his vision. Gives defenders too much of a heads up that the throw is coming, forcing bad balls - throws too many passes to the other team.
His reaction to pressure is discouraging, lacking poise and abandoning manageable pockets. Inconsistent weight transfer and delivery balance, relying on his arm to do the work. Lacks an impressive resume, including poor play vs. top competition in his career - lost all four starts vs. power-five opponents (Nebraska, BYU, Iowa and Oregon): 65-for-128 (50.8-percent) for 634 yards, three touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Has proven to be durable the past two seasons, but did miss most of 2015 after his collarbone was broken in seven places, requiring a metal plate and eight screws - also sprained the A/C joint in his throwing (right) shoulder at Air Force (Nov. 2017) and missed the second half of that game and the next two contests, but avoided surgery. - Dane Brugler 11/28/17
COMPARES TO: Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans - When Locker was drafted in the top-10, it was potential based. And that will be the case with Allen wherever in the first round he is drafted. Locker was undeveloped as a passer, but his physical skill-set is what inflated his draft value - and it's a similar situation with Allen.
IN OUR VIEW: Allen's elite physical characteristics (size, athleticism and arm) and competitive spirit make him scouting catnip, but his unbalanced mechanics, sporadic ball placement and undeveloped instincts are troubling red flags. Allen has the college tape of a later round prospect, making his draft "value" a hotly debated subject in war rooms because so much of his projection is potential-based. He is an obvious candidate to be overdrafted by a team betting on his ceiling.