Drafting a quarterback in the top-10 of the NFL draft alone brings a spark to any team. For the Buffalo Bills, drafting Josh Allen brings excitement to the city, the fans and the players that the franchise has lacked since the 90s. Allen is one of the most physically gifted but raw talents the NFL has seen in quite some time and the possibility of him starting has enlivened some of his teammates.
“Josh is impressive,” Bills leader Lorenzo Alexander told Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic before Allen was named the starter for this Sunday. “I think he had a lot of criticism as far as whether or not he was NFL ready coming out. Watching him and his poise in the pocket, being able to still keep his eyes down field and fire the ball and find guys open, it’s impressive. He’s making plays when he needs to. He took a shot today and got right back up.”
This upcoming Sunday is the Bills’ third preseason game, at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. Monday, the Bills announced that Josh Allen will be making the start after AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman started the fist two. Normally, the third preseason game is seen as a dress rehearsal for the regular season and Allen starting this game could be an indication who will be the week one starter, especially if Allen performs well.
“He’s definitely gaining my trust,” said Alexander. “He already has my respect, but just my trust as far as him going out there and being able to command the offense, get guys in place, run it smoothly as a young guy. If he’s in that spot, it’s not going to be like, ‘Oh no, we’ve got a rookie out there.’ He seems like he’s holding his own and operating at a high level. Obviously he has to go and continue to get better as time goes on and he gains experience. He’s impressive to me. If he ends up winning it, we’ll have as good a chance as if any of those other guys win.”
Fairburn says that third-year defensive end, Shaq Lawson was radiant while talking about the Bills’ first draft pick.
“Oh, man, he’s energetic,” said Lawson. “Like he’s been here three or four years. He’s not like a normal rookie. When a rookie comes in, I know how I was, I was quiet. He’s energetic. He’s a leader like he’s been in the league a long time. You can tell in how he prepares and plays.”
Lawson continued, comparing Allen to a rookie QB from a year ago that electrified the league.
“I’ve been knowing what type of guy Josh is since he got here,” said Lawson. “He’s got a big arm, strong kid, moves well in the pocket. He’s a special athlete. The last time I said that about a quarterback who was a special athlete was in college when I was talking about Deshaun [Watson]. He’s special. Josh Allen is really a special athlete.”
Allen can make throws that McCarron or Peterman simply don't have the arm talent to make. It is quite possible that Allen has the strongest arm in the NFL and the ball effortlessly explodes out of his hand. As a player or a fan, it is hard not to get excited for what the future could hold for Allen and the Bills.