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2018 NFL Draft Prospect: Josh Allen

On December 22nd, Josh Allen will (hopefully) lead the Wyoming Cowboys against the Central Michigan Chippewas in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The 6-foot-5, 234-pound junior has been a darling of the draft community for a while now. Do his metrics match up to the hype?

THE EARLY YEARS

Allen began his college football career at Reedley College where in 2014 he completed 49 percent of his throws with a 26:5 touchdown to interception ratio. He was subsequently a three star JUCO recruit per 247 Sports, ranking 199th overall in the class of 2015. Allen attempted just six throws during the 2015 season, playing behind both Cameron Coffman and Nick Smith.

It was a rather inauspicious start at the FBS level, but it wouldn’t be long before Allen would become the darling of numerous high-profile NFL Draft evaluators starting in 2016.

2016 AND BEYOND

If you could sum up Allen’s 2016 campaign from a passing perspective, his first as a true starter at the FBS level, it would be a story of inconsistent play. Over the course of the year, Allen completed just 56 percent of his throws, including four games where he failed to reach the 50 percent threshold. He also failed to break 250 yards passing in 10 of 14 games.

Admittedly, those are arbitrary cut-offs. And I do have to mention Allen’s rushing production, which, for a quarterback his size, is very impressive. He eclipsed 50 yards rushing seven times and scored at least one rushing touchdown in six games. His ability to scramble is undoubtedly a key selling point for his backers.

Heading into 2017 expectations were high. Allen struggled in the season opener against Iowa, completing 57.5 percent of his throws with 2 interceptions and no scores. After a sandwich game against Gardner-Webb, he again had a tough outing against another Power 5 opponent (Oregon), completing 37.5 percent of his attempts for 64 yards and 1 INT.

As he did in 2016, Allen again was a contributor as a runner, averaging 20 yards per game with 5 TDs on the year. He has been dealing with a shoulder injury this season, which is worth considering. But as a thrower, he left a lot to be desired, completing 56.2 percent of his passes with a measly 6.6 adjusted yards per attempt.

DRAFT PROSPECTS

If we completely ignore Josh Allen’s career-long passing statistics, I can understand why he might be viewed as a top-three player at the position by some high profile analysts in the draft community. He has the frame that scouts dream about, he’s mobile enough to avoid pressure and make positive plays, and he supposedly has a great arm.

But I have a hard time ignoring the face that when pitted against Power 5 competition, Allen was consistently underwhelming. And referencing Rotodoc’s QB Prospect Model, final year AY/A pops as an important predictor for future success. Of the 103 QBs in his study, just 14 had a final year AY/A of 6.6 or less.

NameYearExpLast.AYAConeD.PosLog.D.PosVelWeightHeightShuttleHandAgeFilmSuccessSuccessNExpBin
Cam Newton2011611.26.92105624860504.189.8752190Y11
Marcus Mariota2015211.56.8720.75622260364.119.8752189Y10
Carson Wentz201618.76.8620.75723760524.15102384N00
Jared Goff201619.47.17105821560414.4792180N00
Blake Bortles201439.67.0831.15623260504.219.3752282Y10
Mark Sanchez200989.47.0651.65722760214.2110.52284Y11
Colin Kaepernick201168.66.85363.65923360454.189.1252374Y11
Jameis Winston201527.77.16105523160364.369.3752190Y10
Paxton Lynch201619.47.14263.35924460554.2610.252282N00
Joe Flacco200898.66.82182.95523660634.279.6252385Y11
Andy Dalton201169.96.93353.65621560204.279.52383Y11
Teddy Bridgewater2014310.37.17323.55821460214.29.252194N00
Jake Locker201166.66.7782.15423160244.129.6252278N01
Mike Reilly2009810.16.763305.85821460304.11102476N01
Russell Wilson2012511.86.97754.35520751054.0910.252392Y11
Josh Freeman200987.87.11172.85724860564.43102185Y11
Jimmy Garoppolo20143107.04624.15622660204.269.1252271N00
Brandon Weeden201258.67.36223.15922160344.459.6252872N01
Chandler Harnish201259.16.782535.55721960154.159.252369N01
Kirk Cousins2012587.051024.65921460254.59.8252385Y11
E.J. Manuel201348.87.08162.85423760454.2110.3752380N00
Austin Davis201257.66.733305.85821960154.1110.3752271N01
Logan Thomas201436.57.051204.86024860604.1810.8752275N00
Case Keenum2012510.66.873305.85520860054.289.1252470N01
Christian Ponder2011676.85122.55122960204.0910.252370N01
Pat Devlin2011611.57.083305.85622560334.329.8752365N01
Vernon Adams2016111.26.823305.85320051124.29.1252366N00
Christian Hackenberg201617.27.04513.95622360354.3392172N00
Nick Foles201257.67.14884.55824360504.6810.6252384Y11
Bryce Petty201529.66.911034.65323060304.13102380N00
Scott Tolzien201169.46.843305.85521260204.12102367N01
Paul Smith200899.57.023305.85720860114.299.752379N01
Josh Woodrum201617.36.743305.85623160274.319.252360N00
Kevin Hogan20161106.91625.15321760304.3110.252367N00
Keith Wenning201439.17.071945.35621860304.26102370N00
Brandon Allen201619.97.062015.35521260144.338.6252370N00
Tyler Bray201348.37.23305.85923260614.519.252173N00
Matt Scott201347.16.693305.85421560213.999.1252266N00
Brett Hundley201528.66.9314755322660303.9810.52184N00
Brian Brohm200898.67.135645323060274.559.752295N01
Jacoby Brissett201617.17.17914.55623660344.539.752371N00
Tyrod Taylor201169.56.781805.25021760064.09102169Y11
Levi Brown201078.57.073305.85622960344.439.52460N01
Dak Prescott201618.77.111354.95423060144.3210.8752272Y10
Brett Smith201437.46.983305.85620760164.19102179N00
Drew Willy200987.67.183305.85821560314.459.52276N01
Sean Mannion201526.97.29894.55722960604.3992369N00
Stephen Morris201438.57.363305.85921360204.4910.1252266N00
Rhett Bomar200985.76.9115155522560224.0692377N01
Pat White200987.17.06443.85219760024.429.252365N01
Tyler Wilson2013487.221124.75521560214.398.6252381N00
Cody Kessler201618.57.32934.55522460124.0110.8752376Y10
Tom Savage201437.67.331354.95722860404.369.6252470N00
Ryan Nassib201348.17.341104.75622760214.5310.1252374N00
Curtis Painter200985.772015.35622560274.429.252370N01
Ricky Stanzi201169.46.951354.95022360434.43102371N01
James Vandenberg201345.26.953305.85722660264.529.752363N00
Jeff Mathews201437.87.143305.85622560334.3610.382270N00
Landry Jones201347.97.121154.75322560414.39.1252470N00
Chase Daniel200988.27.283305.85721860004.319.252269N01
Chad Henne200896.77.175745323060274.492286N01
Tajh Boyd201439.87.332135.45422260104.239.6252368N00
Cody Fajardo201525.86.953305.85522360104.19.52366N00
Brandon Bridge201526.17.183305.85722960404.379.252364N00
Jeff Driskel201619.47.192075.35223460354.259.752368N00
T.J. Yates2011686.963305.85221960334.1210.252368N01
Tom Brandstater200986.76.933305.85322060504.379.52478N01
Nathan Enderle201166.37.131605.15424060414.469.8752370N01
Max Hall201078.87.073305.85220960054.3592465N01
Colby Cameron201348.76.983305.85121260214.289.1252366N00
Nate Sudfeld201619.27.421875.25423260324.489.6252265N00
Connor Shaw2014310.17.073305.85020660004.339.252264N00
Dan LeFevour201078.16.931815.24923060324.229.252371N01
Dustin Vaughan201439.17.253305.85323560504.438.8752361N00
Brandon Doughty2016110.47.492235.45321060224.529.1252465N00
Bryn Renner201437.57.223305.85422860304.369.1252469N00
Mike Kafka201076.56.963305.85222560314.379.252267N01
Connor Cook201618.17.211004.65021760304.289.752379N00
Tony Pike201078.47.062045.34922360564.53102470N01
John Parker Wilson200986.57.533305.85821960144.599.52372N01
Josh Johnson2008912.67.561605.14921360264.4292172N01
Kellen Moore201259.77.413305.85219760004.569.52262N01
Shane Carden201527.97.173305.85121860204.459.752360N00
Jevan Snead201076.17.083305.85221960304.33102265N01
David Fales201438.87.551835.25321260204.59.252372N00
John Skelton201078.67.173305.85024360534.339.752270N01
Tim Hiller201076.17.13305.85222960404.549.1252360N01
Sean Canfield201077.67.262395.55122360364.399.252361N01
Graham Harrell2009897.453305.85223360214.569.52373N01
Stephen McGee200986.97.343305.85322560274.4992380N01
Zac Robinson201076.17.242505.55221460244.492363N01
Matt Flynn200896.57.212095.35023160224.349.252277N01
Erik Ainge200897.17.511625.15222560544.69.1252180N01
Ryan Lindley201257.37.521855.25222960364.45102271N01
Mike Glennon201346.97.49734.34922560714.529.52373N00
Jerry Lovelocke201526.87.473305.85124860524.5110.52261N00
John David Booty2008977.791374.95121860234.588.52370N01
Mitch Trubisky201709.16.8715.52.75522260214.259.52282
Pat Mahomes201708.56.8868.64.26022560204.089.252179
DeShaun Watson2017086.955.61.74922160244.319.752179
DeShone Kizer201708.17.420.43.05623360424.539.8752279
Nathan Peterman201709.37.14189.05.25322660214.319.8252274
Davis Webb201706.96.92167.95.15922960504.219.252270

Other important inputs such as hand size, ball velocity, and draft position could bail Allen out. But with the information at hand, it appears the wildfire of hype may be burning a bit too hot.

Other first-round QBs that resemble Allen from a metrics-perspective are yet another reason to worry:

Although I’m not sold on Allen as a prospect worthy of day-one discussion, that doesn’t mean I’m against him entirely. There’s no denying he has the “intangible” factors that NFL teams desperately chase. He has his fair share of supporters. And with the success of fellow small-school, big-bodied QB Carson Wentz, comparisons between the two are almost certain.

He could succeed at the NFL level. But is anywhere close to a sure thing? The numbers say no.

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