NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Wyoming QB Josh Allen

From now until the 2018 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#17 Josh Allen / QB / Wyoming: 6’5”, 230lbs

The Good:

– Prototypical size/athleticism
– Elite arm strength and velocity
– Good mobility and scrambling ability behind the line of scrimmage
– Capable of picking up first downs with his feet
– Generally an accurate passer on the run
– Comfortable taking snaps from under center
– Solid technique on play fakes and bootlegs
– Has experience playing in sloppy weather conditions
– Can throw from a variety of arm angles
– Scans the field well

The Bad:

– Did not face quality competition in college, played in Mountain West Conference
– Completion percentage is historically low for a potential top 3 draft pick
– Inconsistent ball security in the pocket
– Sometimes overreacts to pressure with his pocket movements
– Accuracy and ball placement fluctuates
– Touch passes can improve
– Needs to learn to slide on run plays
– Dropbacks need some polishing


– 2016 Stats: played 14 games, completed 209 passes on 373 attempts (56.0%) for 28 TDs and 15 INTs, plus 142 carries for 523 yards and 7 TDs
– 2017 Stats: played 11 games, completed 152 passes on 270 attempts (56.3%) for 16 TDs and 6 INTs, plus 92 carries for 204 yards and 5 TDs

Tape Breakdown:

Josh Allen is both spectacularly dynamic and frustratingly inconsistent. At times he will make your jaw drop by throwing a 40-yard laser after an electrifying scramble, while on the next play induce a crippling headache from the face-palm you give yourself when he misses a 5-yard flat route. Overall, the main question for Allen will be whether he can stabilize his play and sharpen his raw talent. Obviously, this is an objective for most rookie quarterbacks; however, it seems more pronounced with Allen, given his unique physical ability.

As previously mentioned, Allen’s arm strength is one of his best traits. For example, in this play against Air Force, he effortlessly delivers a strike to his receiver running a deep corner, from the opposite hash. He shows good rhythm in his drop back, as well as perfect weight transfer and hip rotation during his release. Crossfield, high velocity, and accurate passes like this are far more impressive to me than a simple deep go route:

Next against New Mexico, Allen showcases his athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability. While no one wants him to freelance behind the line of scrimmage like this in the NFL, I thought this play was a good demonstration of his competitive nature, as well as his ability to keep plays alive if necessary. The scramble is even more impressive considering his 6’5” 230lbs frame:

Despite playing against weak competition in the Mountain West Conference, Allen’s transition to the professional level might be easier than the typical rookie quarterback, given that he was often asked to drop from under center while making advanced downfield reads. For example, here against Utah State, Wyoming is running a Bunch-Flood concept against the Aggies’ Cover 4 defense. Allen does a nice job of working through his progression and throwing a catchable ball to the corner route, all after completing his five-step drop. He can improve by anticipating this pass slightly earlier and he can polish his footwork by eliminating the two small hop steps at the top of his drop. Overall; however, this was a solid play and an example of why so many NFL scouts love his potential:

Here against Air Force, Wyoming is running double posts against the Falcons’ Cover 0. Allen again showcases his ability to read and take advantage of opposing defenses by selling his play-fake well, standing tall in the pocket, and targeting his best pre-snap matchup:

On the negative side, Allen showed inconsistent accuracy and ball placement, especially on shorter routes. For instance, on this throw against New Mexico, he inexplicably misses his wide-open tight end in the flats. I think errors like this can be largely attributed to his raw arm talent, as well as simple lapses in focus; however, he still needs to eliminate these types of mistakes at the next level:

Ball security might also be an issue for Allen in the NFL. He had 13 fumbles in his 25 career games and was often very lax with the ball, especially in the pocket. For example, watch how his off-hand loses contact with the ball, and how it drops below his waist and behind his back as he slides away from the front-side pressure. Although he maintained possession on this play, things could easily have turned out different. Sharpening fundamentals, such as ball security, will surely help Allen avoid mistakes and turnovers during his rookie season:

Lastly, although Allen was generally good with his pocket movements, he also sometimes had slight overreactions when he felt pressure. For example, in this final clip against Colorado State, watch how he drifts backward, never truly sets his feet, and throws off his back foot, leading to a bad overthrow on the underneath crossing route. The rush was certainly closing; however, he also clearly had space to properly step into this pass:

Projection: Early Day 1

Games Watched: vs Colorado State (2017), at Utah State (2017), at Air Force (2017), vs New Mexico (2017)

Previous 2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Sam Darnold Garret Dooley Calvin Ridley Fred Warner Ronald Jones II
Maurice Hurst Mike McCray DeShon Elliott  Malik Jefferson Ogbo Okoronkwo
Trayvon Henderson Josh Rosen Ronnie Harrison Kallen Ballage Cedric Wilson Jr.
Micah Kiser Will Hernandez Leighton Vander Esch
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