The Buffalo Bills continued their quest for a franchise-altering quarterback by selecting Wyoming’s Josh Allen after moving up five slots to acquire the 6-foot-5, 233-pound enigma. Buffalo sent their No. 12, No. 53, and No. 56 overall picks in the 2018 NFL draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ No. 7 and No. 255 selections. Allen, who has been highly scrutinized for much of the offseason due to his uncharacteristic rise to the top of many draft boards around the NFL as the premier passer of the 2018 class.
But Wednesday, old Tweets of Allen’s were released that caused a storm of controversy. According to Yahoo, the tweets in question were homophobic and racist in nature.
Allen accepted responsibility for his actions, as the Tweets were posted several years ago, but understood the severity of the situation.
“I hope you know and others know I’m not the type of person I was at 14 and 15 that I tweeted so recklessly. … I don’t want that to be the impression of who I am because that is not me. I apologize for what I did,” Allen told ESPN’s Chris Mortenson.
Those tweets were one of the first things Bills’ General Mangager Brandon Beane was questioned about following the huge trade, but he didn’t seem to think it was a situation to be concerned with.
“We did a lot of background on him and obviousl,y the stuff came up today. We researched that and followed up with him, and we feel really good about it. He is Buffalo, you guys will see that when you meet him,” Beane told the media Thursday night.
Beane was then asked about whether the team had previously known about the tweets before they were leaked Wednesday but was swift to dispell that notion, explaining that Allen, like each other player on the roster, has to earn their respect through their actions.
“Listen we don’t condone anything. We did our due diligence on him, we talked to him today. We spoke to him. We spoke to his coach again. We spoke to at least one of his teammates. We spoke to a lot of other people again to make sure that everything we had done through our whole process through the fall,” Beane continued. “This was a fourteen fifteen-year-oldd, now I’m not making an excuse, but I know there is probably stuff that I would be disappointed in myself that I did at fourteen/fifteen. He’s going to come in here and own it. That is all he can do. He’s owned it and he’ll have to earn the trust of his teammates, the fanbase, the organization, and he has done all that he can do. He’ll have to do more when he gets here.”
However, offensive tweeting isn’t the only issue Buffalo’s rookie signal-caller will need to answer for. It’s his average collegiate passing statistics while facing rather unimpressive competition. He completed just 56.2-percent of his passes, throwing 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in two seasons starting. Against Nebraska, a Big 10 school, Allen tossed five interceptions en route to a 189 passing yard day. His only 300-plus yard game of his career was against Gardner-Webb.
Accuracy issues have been the primary concern that evaluators have with Allen, who checks every box from a physical standpoint. He completed under 60-percent of his passes in 17 career games. But Allen scoffs at his accuracy being a flaw. He challenged reporters to just ‘watch the film’ and throw away the statistics.
Weeks ago, the quarterback was asked his poor completion rate, and Allen responded with a laugh.
“Don’t do it. Don’t look at the stats. Trust me. Watch some game film. Watch some of the stuff that I can do. I think that very few other quarterbacks can do some of the stuff that I can do. I take pride in that.”
Beane seemingly doesn’t think that his accuracy concerns will be, well, a concern, either.
“Just all of the work we did,” Beane said when asked why he foresaw improvement. “Listen college football is very hard to scout because you’re talking about different levels, different players. It’s not like scouting in pro where they are all playing at the same level against the same competition. The closest thing that Josh Allen had to that was playing at the Senior Bowl. Obviously, we didn’t just select him off the Senior Bowl, but that’s the closest where he is playing with people that are closest to his skill level.”
There’s a long ways to go, but the Bills finally have a player they collectively believe in. While Allen will be in direct competition with A.J. McCarron for the starting role during training camp, the team appears to know that the coaching staff will need to bring out the best from their young physical specimen.