With the Bills seemingly in the market to add a talented pass rusher in this month’s NFL Draft, they’re kicking the tires on another talented Josh Allen, the dynamic edge rusher from Kentucky.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills are hosting the edge rushing Josh Allen on a pre-draft visit.
Allen would be a terrific fit for a team that ranked 26th in the league in sacks last year. The problem is, will Allen be on the board when the Bills are on the clock with the No. 9 overall selection, or would Buffalo have to engineer a trade up to select the talented pass rusher? Most mock drafts have Allen as a consensus top-five draft pick.
Allen is coming off of a sensational senior season where he recorded 17 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles. With 17 sacks, Allen recorded the most in a single season by an SEC player since the NCAA started officially keeping track of sack records in 2000.
Allen was named first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC pick after leading Kentucky with 88 tackles. He ranked second in the FBS in sacks and forced fumbles, and was tied for sixth nationally in tackles for a loss.
Allen earned numerous accolades during his final season in Lexington, including: All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner (Charlotte Touchdown Club’s National Defensive Player of the Year), Chuck Bednarik Award winner (Maxwell Football Club’s National College Defensive Player of the Year), and the Jack Lambert Award winner (Touchdown Club of Columbus’ National Linebacker of the Year).
For his career, Allen, listed at 6’5” and 260 lbs, registered 31.5 sacks, 42 tackles for loss, and 11 forced fumbles.
Lance Zierlein, an NFL Draft analyst with NFL.com, describes Allen as a “true hybrid linebacker with elite physical traits who has the ability to float between coverage and pass rush duties. Allen’s diverse skill-set could offer a creative defensive mind a fun toy to deploy around the field, but his NFL value will rest in his ability to menace the pocket as 3-4 rush linebacker. He’s fine-tuned a couple of go-to rush moves but will need to continue to diversify his rush portfolio as a pro. ... the tools to become dominant as a run defender and pass rusher are all at his disposal.”