The quarterback-needy Buffalo Bills traded up to the No. 7 overall spot to select Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. General manager Brandon Beane needs to hope he didn’t just select the wrong Josh.
It wasn’t a matter of if but instead a matter of when the Buffalo Bills would select a quarterback in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Given that their quarterback room currently lays claim to AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman, Buffalo’s need at the position was bordering on dire.
That being said, our ears perked up when Buffalo put together a deal to move from No. 12 to No. 7 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving up two second-round picks — Nos. 53 and 56 — and, of course, their selection at No. 12 overall pick.
Once on the clock, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane had UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen available to him.
Unfortunately, he chose the wrong Josh.
Look, no quarterback is a sure thing in the NFL. For all we know, Allen will turn out to have a much longer and more successful career than Rosen.
But by moving up for Allen, Beane has undoubtedly raised the stakes, taking a huge chance on a prospect who has been known to have plenty of on-the-field concerns and –very recently — some off-the-field ones, as well.
In the 24 hours prior to the start of the draft, old tweets Rosen had sent surfaced — or were leaked — and to say they were unflattering is an understatement. Riddled with racially insensitive and offensive language, many thought the tweets would cause Allen’s stock to fall.
Beane said that he was surprised to learn about the tweets, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “He’s a really good kid,” Beane said. “We did a lot of background on him. Obviously some stuff came up today. We researched that, followed up with him. We feel very good about it.”
Then, of course, there are the on-the-field concerns with Allen — particularly with his accuracy. There’s no question Allen has a cannon for an arm. But he also completed only 56.3 percent of his passes at Wyoming, a shockingly low number. And that was against Mountain West competition.
Beane was vocal ahead of the draft about wanting a quarterback who can throw an accurate ball and be mobile in the pocket. Rosen isn’t incredibly mobile, so that could have colored Beane’s decision.
Theoretically, Allen won’t have to start right away — but with McCarron or Peterman under center, the fans are not going to wait long. Rosen is far and away the more pro-ready quarterback and would have been ready to step in for Buffalo earlier.