One of the top quarterback prospects in 2018 is Wyoming’s Josh Allen, as the six-foot-five passer has a huge arm, excellent mobility, and familiarity with a pro-style offense. He will also be one of the most polarizing prospects, though, as he’s completed just 56.2% of his passes in three years and has battled an injured throwing shoulder this season. Scouts will get a good look at Allen today when he plays in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Central Michigan (4 PM ET on ESPN), but looking ahead to NFL, I think these are the best fits for 21-year-old.
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers is still at the top of his game for the playoff-hopeful Chargers, but there isn’t a clear backup waiting in the wings for Los Angeles. They traded for Cardale Jones in July, but the former Ohio State star will already be 26-years-old by Week 4 of next season, and I have long had doubts about his ability to develop into an NFL starter. The Chargers taking Josh Allen as a future investment shouldn’t harm their chances of competing in 2018, as they already have a strong roster with star defensive players and great weapons for Rivers.
New England Patriots
Jimmy Garoppolo has shown what learning behind Tom Brady in the Patriots system can do for a young quarterback, but New England is without a successor to Brady after trading Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett this year. I have no doubts that TB12 can play for five more seasons if that’s what he wants to do, and that would give Allen time to unlock his potential behind the greatest quarterback of all-time.
New Orleans Saints
FOX broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman made it pretty clear that Sean Payton thinks third-string quarterback Taysom Hill is the quarterback of the future in New Orleans, but as we’ve seen with the Vikings this year, a team can never have too many quarterbacks. The Saints could decide that Allen’s upside is too appealing for them to pass on if he’s available when they’re on the clock next spring, and he and Rookie-of-the-Year-candidate Alvin Kamara could create an exciting duo for years to come.
Baltimore might have some more immediate needs than quarterback, but Ozzie Newsome is one of the best general managers in the NFL, and he knows neglecting the quarterback position wouldn’t be wise. Josh Allen has some similar attributes to Joe Flacco, and the Ravens could get their quarterback of the future as the former Super Bowl MVP enters his age-33 season in 2018. Also, if Flacco’s play falls off over the next two years and Allen develops how they’d expect, Baltimore could hand the keys to the young quarterback by 2020.
Now, this is my favorite possible fit for the Wyoming signal-caller. Bruce Arians loves having a big, strong-armed passer that can push the ball downfield, and that’s what Allen does best. A best-case scenario for the Cardinals might be Carson Palmer returning for one season to make a run (and to teach the rookie) before Allen hits the field in 2019 for a team that will still have stars in their prime, including David Johnson (27/28), Patrick Peterson (29), Haason Reddick (24/25), and Tyrann Mathieu (27).