By: Jake Leicht
Completion%: 56.2% (365/649)
Passing Yards: 5,066
Passing TDs: 44
Passing INTs: 26
Rushing Attempts: 237
Rushing Yards: 767
Rushing TDs: 12
Strengths: Josh Allen is entertaining to watch. He is a big, tall, athletic quarterback that can make every throw necessary to be a legit NFL star. Standing at 6'5 233 pounds looks like an NFL quarterback. While at Wyoming, Allen had several memorable plays in which he eluded pressure and drove the ball down the field to streaking receivers. His ability to roll to his left and still throw the ball with some zip is an incredible attribute of his. Defenses in the NFL will be forced to deal with Allen’s athleticism, and defensive backs will have to continue to cover their receivers even when Allen is scrambling for his life. Arm strength is Allen’s most obvious strength. When he has a clear pocket, he can step into his throws and fit his ball into tight windows. During his career at Wyoming, Allen played with mostly average to below average talent. If you break down his film, it is apparent that he was forced to make some throws that he probably shouldn’t have due to his weapons and game situations. He does a very nice job of keeping his eyes down the field even when he is being rushed by opposing defenses. Allen led the Wyoming Cowboys to an 8–5 record this season.
Another positive for Allen is the fact that he played under center more than Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield in his collegiate career. Coach Craig Bohl’s offensive is more of a Pro-Style attack which fit Allen’s style of play. Bohl famously coached Carson Wentz during his tenure at North Dakota State. Because of this, many people have tried to compare Allen to Wentz. At this point, Wentz was the more pro-ready talent, but Allen has a much higher ceiling in my opinion. Wentz was much more accurate than Josh, but he did not have his arm strength coming out of college. They both have a similar attitude as well. I met both players at their respective NFL Combines, and both guys were humble and quiet. Like Wentz, Allen is a very tough dude. On film, he takes shot after shot from defenses, and he still stands tall in the pocket time after time. He doesn’t get rattled at all by getting hit, which is a trait some quarterbacks do not have.
I cannot stress how high Josh Allen’s ceiling is. His arm strength, athleticism, and collegiate playbook are all reasons why he is now under consideration to be the first player selected in the draft this year. His toughness and ability to deliver a catchable ball has scouts drooling. If Allen can correct some of his footwork issues, whatever team drafts him will be very happy with the result.
Weaknesses: Allen has some significant accuracy issues. At Wyoming, he only completed 56.2% of his throws. That is not good. His accuracy issues are the reason why some draft experts have compared him to Kyle Boller. Allen had some major footwork issues in college. His feet simply did not coincide with his upper body. He would get caught between steps in his drop back at Wyoming and still try to make the throw. Sometimes Allen “steps in the bucket” when he tries to make a throw, meaning he opens his hips up and does not step to his target. Most scouts agree that the key to passing accuracy starts with a quarterback’s footwork. So while Allen’s ceiling is a top-flight quarterback in the NFL, his floor is that he could be out of the league before he is ready for his second contract.
I do believe that Allen has made scouts feel better about his footwork through the draft process. After his last bowl game with Wyoming, several scouts thought that Allen’s accuracy issues could not be remedied. He went to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl, and he showed an improvement in his footwork. This led to him being much more accurate. A few weeks later, Allen seemed to progress a little further with his Combine performance. He wowed scouts with his deep ball, throwing the ball seventy yards in the air and on target. About a month later, Allen continued to show improvement and development at his pro day. It was at this point that rumors started swirling that he was under strong consideration to be the number one overall pick by the Browns. Allen is working to turn his weaknesses into strengths. If he does so, watch out NFL world.
NFL Team Fits: The Cleveland Browns make a ton of sense for Josh Allen. Allen has the big prototypical body frame that has made quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco successful in the AFC North. He also played in a scheme at Wyoming that is similar to Hue Jackson’s offense in Cleveland. Allen would also benefit from sitting for a year while learning the system and continuing to work on his footwork. Cleveland has the perfect opportunity for him to do just that because of their acquisition of Tyrod Taylor this offseason. I also like the Denver Broncos as a fit for Allen, because of their down the field targets and playbook. Allen would need to work on his accuracy issues because the Broncos like to throw underneath defenses as well. The final team that could be a fit for him is the Buffalo Bills. Like the Browns, the Bills have to play several games a year in harsh weather conditions. Allen’s arm strength would be a major plus for the Bills. Each of these teams so happens to need a quarterback as well.
Tackles for Loss: 16.5 Sacks: 5
Interceptions: 9 Passes Defended: 24
Strengths: Minkah Fitzpatrick can play every position on the field except defensive line and middle linebacker. At Alabama, he did everything from being a cover corner to a rush linebacker for the Crimson Tide over his three years on campus. I love the way Minkah plays physically no matter what position he is playing. He is not afraid to stick his nose in traffic and make a play on opposing ball carriers. One thing that impressed me with Minkah was his ability to get off of blocks. He is so difficult to block no matter what player is trying to get to him. He is too quick for an offensive lineman to lock onto, but he is also too physical for a wide receiver to block as well. Not only can he make plays in the run game, but he is also a very gifted cornerback as well. During his first two years at Bama, Minkah played more corner than safety. He excelled breaking up 17 passes and intercepting 8 passes during that time frame. I think that at the NFL level a creative defensive coordinator will move him around and show off his talents. In my opinion, Minkah will probably be best suited to start out as a slot corner, but he will develop over time to play multiple positions at a very high level. Minkah is genuinely a Jack-of-all-trades in this draft class.
Weaknesses: Minkah’s versatility is one of his biggest strengths, but it is also one of his most significant flaws. Minkah is not great at any position, but he is good at multiple. I do not view this as a weakness, but a team that is trying to have him play in a defined role may think twice about drafting him. He is just a football player that can do a lot of different things well, but that could scare some teams into passing on him. Minkah is also reasonably injury-prone. He doesn’t miss a lot of games, but he has injuries that stay with him longer than they should. This may be partially due to his size. At 6'1 and 200 pounds, he is not small, but he plays very physical for his stature. The last weakness that Minkah has is that he is not primarily explosive. He timed in nicely in his 40-yard dash with a time of 4.46 seconds, but he only had a vertical jump of 33 inches. His broad jump was just over 10 feet as well. Minkah did not do the 3-cone drill which could have helped him prove his explosiveness. Overall, those numbers are not bad, but they are not nearly as explosive as his safety counterpart Derwin James. James ran the 40-yard dash in almost the same time while jumping seven inches higher and broad jumping a foot further than Minkah. This doesn’t mean that Minkah is a bad athlete by any means, but scouts could see these numbers and question his athleticism.
Team Fits: If used correctly, any team in the NFL could use a guy like Minkah. Specifically, I think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could use Minkah to bolster their secondary. Last season the Buc’s pass defense was not very good. In a division with quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton, you have to be able to defend the pass. Minkah would also fit the Bucs because he could fill multiple needs depending on how they develop him during his first couple of seasons. I think a team like the San Francisco 49ers could also fall in love with him due to that same versatility I have been preaching about throughout this article. The 49ers seem to be a team that is keen on grabbing tough, hard-nosed football players. Minkah would fit that mold, especially after the 49ers decided to move on from Eric Reid. Lastly, the Washington Redskins could also use a playmaker in the back part of their secondary as well. I think that they would probably have to trade up to get him, but if Minkah somehow slipped down to pick 13, the Redskins should be sprinting to the podium to select him. Adding him to a defense with playmakers such as Ryan Kerrigan and Josh Norman would be enticing. I do believe that Minkah could fit any team’s defensive scheme, and he will make a team very happy that they selected him come September.