The Buffalo Bills are never short for drama and that remained true Thursday night, as General Manager Brandon Beane swung another big trade, this time to acquire Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming whom he sees as the franchise savior. Buffalo traded their No. 12 overall pick, along with both of their second-round selections to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for No. 7 overall and a seventh-round pick.
Allen was one of the most highly-scrutinized prospects in the draft, despite being heralded as the top passer for most of the year. He possesses prototypical size (6-foot-5, 233-pounds), with a rocket for an arm and some impressive movement skills. But Allen was inaccurate, completing less than 60-percent of his career passes and didn’t put up statistics one would expect from a top quarterback against the type of competition he faced.
He completed just 56.2-percent of his passes for 5,066 passing yards, tossing 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in two years as the starter.
Buffalo traded Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns prior to the start of free agency and signed A.J. McCarron, who won a National Championship at Alabama before backing up Andy Dalton for four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Given the fact that Allen is more of the physical specimen than a polished product right now, it’s hard to say that the rookie will be an early contributor.
Beane explained what drew him to Allen and provided enough confidence in to trade up in order to acquire him.
“Big guy. An athlete. Really for his size, you look at all the testing numbers and you look at the film. A very good athlete that makes plays in the pocket and on the run,” Beane told the media. “He’s a really good kid”
Buffalo has been desperate for quality, or even competent, quarterback play for the better part of the last two decades. This year, the Bills had to strike. But Allen was the ugly duckling in a river of swans to most draft analysts. But while media types sang praises of Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson, more and more ‘anonymous sources’ leaked information about the admiration decision-makers around the league had for Allen.
Throughout the offseason, some were comparing Allen’s physical skill set to that of a quarterback Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are all too familiar with from their tenure with the Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton.
Sure, it remains to be seen whether Allen’s strongest assets – a big arm, size and pocket mobility can translate to success with a team that hasn’t enjoyed much of it since Jim Kelly, who played the game with the game backyard-mentality as Allen.
The Bills obviously know that there will be a learning curve and extreme outside pressure, due to the vast range of opinions on the No. 7 overall pick, but for now, Buffalo believes the future is bright.