Oddly, Josh Allen didn’t appear on my football radar until the beginning of his junior year at the University of Wyoming. He was brought to my attention by some college football aficionados, knowing I was interested in familiarizing myself with the 2018 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks.
What I saw watching Josh on Thursday night at New Era Field during his first NFL preseason game was similar in some respects to what I’ve seen from him throughout his early development as a quarterback.
The trajectory of human development sets itself in motion at very different times. Puberty hits early for some, for others it’s a much later and longer process toward peak physical development. I can relate to how ‘wunderkind’ quarterback Josh Allen fell into the latter category. Later-onset puberty has consequences others often don’t think about.
If #BillsMafia really wants to know how Josh Allen slipped through the cracks of the college football scouting system, as well as some back ground about how Josh came to be the young man he is today, check out ESPN’s Senior Writer Mark Schlabach’s terrific article here:
“In February 2014, when it was time for Josh to choose a college as a high school senior, the Bulldogs — and every other FBS team — weren’t interested. At the time, Josh was about 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds. He hadn’t attended the elite quarterback camps and wasn’t a widely known prospect. His high school team didn’t participate in many 7-on-7 camps because Josh and many of his teammates were busy playing baseball and other sports. He was the leading scorer on his basketball team and also pitched on the baseball team, reaching 90 mph with his fastball.”
Six-foot three, 180 pounds? Few could project a noodle like that would just keep growing into his frame, showing up at the NFL Combine at 6-foot-5, 237 pounds with a 10 and 1/8 inch handspan.
I believe the extreme polarization of opinion about Josh Allen’s potential for success stems from his being overlooked by scouts, ignored by colleges and doubted every step of the way during his remarkable career to date. Some continue to doubt he will become a successful NFL quarterback and almost seem emotionally invested in any sign of his impending failure. Even some analysts seem to cling to a negative thesis about the guy.
Which of course goes against the point I've made about Josh Allen all along – that his baseline accuracy is inherently poor and you need to unleash him to do the special things he can do to offset that.
He was, and then I wonder if they didn't go too far.
The Allen Paradox
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) August 10, 2018
Is this attitude a reflection of the effect of social media on opinions about quarterbacks? It’s inexplicable to me how invested some are in predicting the demise of a quarterback picked seventh overall.
I honestly don’t recall fans dissing Jim Kelly and obsessing about how John Elway and Dan Marino would have been better choices in the 1983 NFL Draft. None of the fans I knew at the time were emotionally invested in proving their brilliance by claiming Dan Marino or John Elway was going to be a better quarterback than Jim Kelly at the beginning of their respective careers.
Imagine a world where Rosen, Darnold, Mayfield AND Allen turn into this generation’s Elway, Marino and Kelly. It will be fun to watch each develop their own unique style as NFL quarterbacks. Why can’t we just celebrate bringing a fresh round of exceptional talent at the quarterback position to the NFL instead of making it a constant battle of the stats?
Editor’s babble: I’m slowly starting to decompress from the trip of a lifetime to WNY. More dribble will be coming your way as my impressions congeal and spew out of the black hole that is my brain. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.