Quarterbacks can only succeed if they have the players they have around them who complement their skill sets, Josh Allen is unique and needs the right fit.
Most scouts have agree that Josh Allen needs to be in a system where he can sit for a while to develop more. This comes from concerns about his accuracy, consistency, and competition faced. Let’s start by evaluating his strength and weaknesses, then evaluate the personnel on each team and how they can help him succeed. We can do this by looking at the route trees of the receivers and whether or not they fit his arm.
It is important to note this is solely from a personnel perspective, not anything else.
Everybody knows that Allen’s biggest strength is his raw arm talent. He can launch the ball, showing this at the combine and his pro day. Not only does he throw the ball far, but he can throw it hard, fitting it in windows when he needs to. He can make all the throws.
He struggles with consistency. He has self-evaluated this stem from footwork troubles. This offseason, he worked with quarterbacks coach Jordan Palmer, who notably coached Deshaun Watson last year, on improving this aspect of his game. He felt as though he demonstrated his improvements at his pro day, and all the throws looked good.
Now, lets look at the receivers and quarterbacks the draft teams have and how he will fit in. Receiver route trees and air yards per target are courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats.
6. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have shown a lot of interest in Allen, many people linking the two because Allen’s strong arm can cut through the wind in Buffalo. However, there is not much that makes this pairing seem like a great idea.
First of all, Allen may go to Buffalo as the immediate starter. Nobody knows how much they trust AJ McCarron, a guy with just three NFL starts to his name. The Bills made the playoffs last year and should be looking to compete right away, so if McCarron isn’t the answer, Allen will probably be tried out.
Receiver wise, the Bills don’t have the ability to maximize Allen. Their two best threats are Charles Clay and Kelvin Benjamin. The biggest issues with the two of them is the frequency with which they both go deep. Clay, as a tight end, isn’t asked to stretch the field very often. Benjamin is a big-bodied receiver who generally stays within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. Even with the big arm of Cam Newton, Benjamin has never been a top-tier deep threat. They are far better suited to someone who can put the ball in places where they can go get it.
Then there is Jordan Matthews. He usually stays within 10 yards, occasionally going as far as 20 yards out. His game is better suited to play in a timing offense with a quarterback who anticipates. This raises another criticism of Allen. He tends to wait to throw the football, rarely anticipating, and this is because he trusts his big arm to get it there. That doesn’t translate to the NFL, especially with the Bills.
While Allen seems to fit in well with the conditions in Buffalo, he doesn’t match the personnel.