The Buffalo Bills drafted Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen as a seventh overall pick in early May as they attempt to end an incredibly long run of cycling through different players in the position.
Since Jim Kelly retired back in 1997, the Bills have had 16 different starting quarterbacks, and it is fair to say that none of those have been able to make the role their own for any length of time. Buffalo have also missed out on some incredible talent during the last two decades, with the likes of Drew Brees, Joe Flacco and Jimmy Garoppolo all joining other teams when a move to the Bills was a possibility.
Allen is the latest young prospect to get a shot, and those around the California native believe that he has the resiliency and work ethic to become an NFL star in the coming years. Allen is expected to start as the third name on the Bills’ depth chart for the 2018 season, with AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman currently ahead of him in the pecking order, but a move up to starter is possible if he can impress during training this summer.
Experts believe that there will be a natural progression for Allen and that he could feature heavily later on in the season. The 21-year-old’s sheer physicality will count for him and against McCarron, who arrived as a free agent on backup money and is known to have physical limitations. Peterman also has bad memories of a disastrous five-INT debut during the 2017 season and so must work hard not to fall down the roster.
Allen is well positioned to become the number one quarterback, especially if he can pick up the Bills’ offensive system and showcase consistency at the top level. Allen’s former coach Craig Bohl already believes that he is a “great, great match” for the Bills. He added: “As the whole draft was playing out one thing I thought was very important was for Josh to get in a program that fit his DNA. After having an opportunity to talk to a lot of people in the Bills organization and I see the direction and trajectory of the program and I think it’s a great match.”
There is often talk in the NFL that rookies will be integrated slowly, but we have seen before that this is not always the case. Carson Wentz, for example, was tipped to sit at the start of his career but quickly made his mark, as did Derek Carr and Russell Wilson. Allen must now do everything that he can to get ready for the preseason games against the Panthers, the Browns, the Bengals and the Bears before the 2018 NFL season gets underway in September against the Ravens. For those betting on the Bills, Allen could be the key to wins during the early season if he gets his chance.
The early signs are good for Allen and Buffalo. Allen’s quarterback trainer Jordan Palmer concludes: “He’s pretty unique. He’s the most talented guy I’ve ever seen. In terms of arm talent and potential I have not seen anything like him and I’ve been saying that for a while.”