Skip to content

Josh Allen's trouble vs. Power 5 teams should slow down the hype train

Troy Babbitt / USA TODAY Sports

College football fans and NFL draft enthusiasts alike have spent much of the last calendar year touting Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen as not only a can't-miss prospect, but also a potential No. 1 overall pick.

After Saturday's performance - or lack thereof - in a 49-13 loss to Oregon, it may be time to start reconsidering those projections.

At 6-foot-5 and 222 pounds, Allen physically projects as a high-ceiling pocket passer that any NFL team would covet come draft day. He guided the Cowboys to the Mountain West championship game a year ago, suggesting he also possesses leadership qualities that will be invaluable if and when his career extends beyond the collegiate level.

Given that description and his spot on the Maxwell Award watch list, you might expect some gaudy numbers on his resume to back up his reputation. However, when it comes to Power 5 opponents - including the Ducks - his statistics are less than brilliant.

Date Opponent Pass Completion Passing Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Sept. 16 2017 Oregon 9-of-24 64 0 1
Sept. 2 2017 Iowa 23-of-40 174 0 2
Sept. 10 2016 Nebraska 16-of-32 189 1 5

As a member of a Mountain West program, Allen's seen extremely limited action against Power 5 opponents, so the results aren't at all conclusive. The team surrounding him could affect his total output to some extent as well. Still, a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1-to-8 with just 52 percent pass completion against quality competition doesn't fit the profile of an elite prospect.

Another red flag shows up in Allen's entire body of work at the college level. He's only thrown for more than 300 yards in a single game - and that was a 69-66 loss to UNLV that required three overtimes. Sure, statistics are only part of the story, but they can speak volumes, and in Allen's case, they suggest weaknesses that are being overlooked.

Allen could still have a successful career at the next level, of course, but Saturday's performance suggests he needs to walk before he can run when it comes to competing against upper-tier talent. That's reason enough to be more cautious about projecting him.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox