What Happened to Wyoming’s Josh Allen?
Josh Allen was every draftnik’s favorite “guy under the radar” guy following the 2016 college football season. Some even thought and were convinced that he was going to come out for the 2017 NFL Draft, following his outstanding redshirt sophomore season. After briefly considering it, he decided to go back to Wyoming and continue to improve upon his sophomore year. But has he improved his stock?
With all eyes upon him this season, he has really struggled. Notably, in the big-time games against Iowa and Oregon, he was downright bad. Has the pressure heaped upon him caused him to struggle? Or was he overrated to start with?
A Look at Josh Allen’s struggles
After watching almost every one of Josh Allen’s games in his sophomore year, it became apparent to me that he has talent. And I mean BIG talent. Allen has rare physical tools that haven’t been seen much on this side of the John Elway draft. It is quite possible that Allen has the strongest arm we’ve seen in years, rivaling that of Cam Newton’s. Not only that, but he has the athletic ability and competitive drive that would put him up with some of the greats.
With that being said, after looking and inspecting Josh Allen’s early struggles it would be easy to just say “he’s not as good as we thought.” To be honest, in my review of the film, that’s far too lazy of an opinion.
Ok… so what are the reasons your probably asking.
- Familiarity with new weapons. Allen lost his favorite target last season, Tanner Gentry to the NFL. He has other new receivers and weapons that he is still getting comfortable with. That was really evident in his week 1 and week 3 matchups, against Iowa and Oregon. (Not teams you want to play early on in the season)
- Recklessness with the football. One of the knacks on Allen his sophomore season was the fact that he was careless with the ball and his decision making at times was called into question. That has tied over into this season as well. Allen refuses to go down, and to a fault, risks injury and puts the ball into play far too often risking turnovers.
- Inopportune drops by his receivers. There have been several times this season already, where Allen has put the ball perfect for his receivers and they have dropped the football. I can even recall 1 terrible drop by a receiver in the Iowa game that would have been a deep TD pass. To say Allen’s cast around him isn’t the most talented group is a compliment.
Those are just a few of the reasons. But we can have reasons to be confident that the trajectory of Allen’s junior season is only going up from here. Why?
Just looking at Wyoming’s schedule, they got arguably the 2 hardest games over with. Plus the fact that Allen has been far better in his last 2 games, (against Hawaii and Texas State) showing more confidence and poise. His decision making and comfort with those around him has been much improved and I expect it to continue to mature.
No matter how good a year Allen has, he’s still going to need more development at the next level. He has the physical traits and tools to be outstanding but NFL staffs are going to need to decipher whether taking the gamble on his physical tools is worth the risk. Judging from what I’ve seen so far in his young college career, I would imagine taking Allen early on in the 2018 Draft would be absolutely worth the risk.
I know Allen is not as beloved as he was before the season started, but come on guys, give him a break. And of course some more time as well!