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Can Josh Allen realize his potential for the Redskins developing under Alex Smith?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Wyoming at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen, QB
School: Wyoming | Conference: Mountain West
College Experience: rJr | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 237 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st Round or 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: E.J. Manuel

College Statistics

Player Overview

Josh Allen was a two-star recruit coming out of high school and received little interest before playing at a community college before signing with Wyoming. It’s remarkable the amount he has been able to rise his draft stock. Josh Allen is the most polarizing QB in this draft in my opinion. Allen had a decent year last year where he threw for over 3,200 yards, 28 TDs, and 15 INTs. Allen had a terrible year this year in terms of production and statistics. Allen was not helped by his team. The Wyoming defense is not notable. His offensive line’s performance was spotty at best. His receivers occasionally did drop what they should have held on to.

However, we should not pretend that a lot of Josh Allen’s free fall in production is not because of his decisions and play. Allen had the second lowest drop rate (7.84%) among potential 1st round QBs (Darnold, Rosen, Mayfield, Jackson) with only Darnold’s being lower. So the issue of dropped passes becomes moot when comparing him to the other potential 1st round guys. Allen has a habit of running out of the pocket even when protection is solid and throwing on the run. He also tries to do way too much and is just about always looking for the big play instead of what the defense gives him. His accuracy is also a point of criticism which isn't helped by the aforementioned habits. Allen has a big-time arm, the size of a prototypical QB, and is surprisingly mobile and athletic. He’s tough as nails, fearless, and has a gunslingers mentality which does create good things as well as bad. I’m sure there will be many position coaches, offensive coordinators, and head coaches that think they can work with Allen and mold his deficiencies into positives after a few years. He does not appear to have those elite level intangibles of truly special QBs (winning mentality, putting a team on his back, strategic decision making, etc) and good teams ought to have that in mind when they hopefully decide to build a team around him as they invest in developing him for a few years.

Strengths

  • Excellent size and athleticism for the position.
  • Cannon for an arm has the strength and velocity to make any throw on the field.
  • When he stands tall, square, and balanced in the pocket he delivered the ball with good accuracy.
  • Durable, breaks would be sacks and can take hits on the run.
  • When improvisation goes well he is able to extend the play and run for positive yardage or complete passes downfield.

Weaknesses

  • Accuracy falls off a cliff when he rolls out or is scrambling. Has never passed 56% in completion percentage. So many of his incompletions were inaccurate passes out of bounds.
  • Takes off way too much and generally has happy feet in the pocket. Has a bad habit of moving right unnecessarily. Mechanics go to the trash on lateral scrambles going backwards. Results in a lot of unbalanced back foot throws.
  • Gunslinger mentality who thinks almost every throw needs to be a 100mph rocket. Will pass on open short receivers inexplicably because he feels the need that every throw must be a big one. Needs to be more strategic about his throws and place more value on keeping the ball with all his interceptions.
  • Doesn’t show great anticipation or ability to throw receivers open receivers are either wide open or the ball is slung in - no middle ground.

Let’s see his work:

More Josh Allen videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

I won’t pretend to be an expert on quarterbacks by definitively saying Josh Allen will be X or Y when he gets to the NFL. The only reason I feel confident in saying that is that it appears the experts haven't figured it out either. Allen is a project and is nowhere near ready to come in and start for a team in my opinion. That said his development will no doubt benefit from going to an organization where he can sit and learn for a few years behind an established vet. The Redskins appear to check that box. Redskin fans will find Allen deficiencies all too familiar with them both very similar to the weaknesses of the teams past two starters the last 5 years. At a position that is highly boom or bust, I think Allen is the riskiest player at the position because of where he is projected to go and how far he still has to go before becoming a viable starter.

How much confidence do you all have in Jay Gruden and Matt Cavanaugh that they can correct Allen’s issues in ~2-3 years at which point he would get the reins? Would Gruden even be interested in a kid that could bomb it if his inclination is to go for the big throws and not the short intermediate stuff the WC offense is predicated on?That's the big question. It isn’t impossible but it's a daunting task. The Redskins are going to need to make the investment in a young long-term QB eventually but for a 1st round pick I’m not sure I want it to be Allen. For what its worth I’ve read several rumors that NFL teams aren’t nearly as high on Allen as the media may portray them to be. Depending on how things shake out in the next few months I don’t think its impossible that Allen could slide down the board to the second round where the investment would sit a lot better with me personally.