Analysts discuss former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen’s NFL Combine performance

March 8, 2018 GMT

If one thing’s certain about Josh Allen, it’s that there is no such thing as a media consensus when it comes to the former Wyoming quarterback. Some think he’s a surefire No. 1 pick, while others say he doesn’t even merit a first-round selection. But every analyst has some sort of take on Allen. Here’s what a few said at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Greg Cosell, NFL Films and ESPN: “I thought he threw the ball really well (Saturday). He missed his first throw. He was probably fired up. But I think after that he threw the ball exceptionally well. I thought he was the best quarterback in terms of performance at the Combine and in the throwing portion. He’s got a freak arm anyway. The ball just comes out a little differently when he throws it than when others do. I think in the on-the-field stuff, he handled himself extremely well.”

On whether Allen’s Combine makes up for some in-game issues: “This isn’t going to change what the film shows. He kind of speaks to the difference between arm strength and arm talent. He’s got a really strong arm, a power arm. He can really drive the football. He needs to work on the arm talent part, the subtleties, the nuance of touch, timing. The right kind of throw. He needs to become a little bit more precise with his ball placement overall. And then teams will decide if those things are coachable or if those are flaws that you have to live with. You can probably talk to different coaches and get different answers.”

Mike Mayock, NFL Network: “I thought Josh Allen put on a show, and I knew he would. I’ve done a bunch of his tape and saw him live at the Senior Bowl. He’s got as live an arm as anybody I’ve seen since JaMarcus Russell. I heard people thought that was a negative because of JaMacus’s career. But to qualify that, all I’m talking about is arm talent. I’m not talking about the ability to play in the NFL. His arm talent is the best I’ve seen since Russell. He was the No. 1 overall pick. Forget about what he did or didn’t do in his career. His arm talent was off the charts. I thought Allen showed off a little bit today. He had a tighter delivery. A lot of the tall, lean guys struggle with that. He’s working with Jordan Palmer. So he’s tightened some things up. I thought his footwork was better today. And he showed off today, which I thought was good. I wanted to see a little bit of that out of him.”

Dan Kadar, SB Nation: “I mean, this is where he should look like the best player in the draft, not just the best quarterback. His arm’s ridiculous. The 90-yard thing was silly, but the 70-yard thing he showed. I would question if he didn’t look good here. I’m not going to come out of this and say the Browns should take him first overall. But I am going to come out of this and say, ‘OK, is Denver in play at number five for him? Are the Jets in play?’ Stuff like that. I think he did well for himself here, but I think he has some real bad tape. To me, this is a small piece of the pie. The games are a huge piece of the pie. The Senior Bowl is another small piece and stuff like that. He helped himself. I just don’t understand the first overall stuff.”

On whether he believes Allen’s inaccuracies are rooted in footwork: “I do, from the standpoint of he just moves around a lot. Like, you’re a big, strapping dude. Sometimes it’s just good to stand back in the pocket, get your stuff straight and go. There were so many plays where he just seemed to unnecessarily get out of the pocket, run around and just chuck it out. And sometimes it worked. Sometimes it was a dud. Sometimes it got intercepted. So, that kind of game, I don’t know how that translates to the NFL, where the physical tools are so obviously there, and then he does this stuff where he’s limiting his ability. He’s throwing off platform. That’s taking some heat off of it and stuff like that. He’s a frustrating player, to be quite honest with you.”

On whether footwork at the Combine is irrelevant, because there’s no defense: “A little bit, yeah. And that’s why I really think he should sit a year and go to a team where you can get a veteran and he can just sit and watch. And frankly just sit and watch their pocket work and feet and stuff like that, where he doesn’t have to get out. He can just read the defense and let it rip.”

On an ideal spot for Allen to sit a year: “Probably the Saints. I think that would make a lot of sense because (Drew) Brees is so good at that. I think they would make sense. I think if the Broncos get Case Keenum, I think that would make sense, too. That’s another thing where it would be maybe two years, maybe one year of just waiting. But he’s a patient-in-the-pocket kind of guy. Pittsburgh’s fascinating, because Ben Roethlisberger, who knows how long he’s going to have? So they talked about that this week, that they’re just going to let him play until he wants to go, but he’s old. He’s old as I am, and I’m bald. ... Physically I think Allen’s more athletic than Ben, but big body, big arm. They can take a hit. It think that one would make sense, too.”

On Allen’s Senior Bowl: “I thought it was OK. I thought he was as good as any of the guys down there. I think the thing with him there was he just fired every pass off real fast and hard, and I think he has to learn how to take some off on those. And if he does, I think that’s where he’ll get it. Because you can’t break guys’ fingers in the NFL. So if he can do that, throw a more catchable ball, I think he’ll be good to go.”