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Josh Allen (quarterback)

Joshua Allen (born May 21, 1996) is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Wyoming, and was drafted by the Bills in the first round (7th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Josh Allen
refer to caption
Allen in 2018
No. 17 – Buffalo Bills
Personal information
Born: (1996-05-21) May 21, 1996 (age 22)
Firebaugh, California
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:237 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school:Firebaugh High School
(Firebaugh, California)
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2018
Completion percentage:52.4
Passing yards:1429
Passer rating:62.8
Rushing yards:490
Rushing touchdowns:5
Player stats at


Early yearsEdit

Allen grew up on a 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) farm near Firebaugh, California, a small town about 40 miles (64 km) west of Fresno, California[1][2] His family has lived in the area since his great-grandfather, who emigrated from Sweden in 1907, settled there during the Great Depression. The farm where he was raised was established in 1975 by his paternal grandfather, who was also a longtime member of the local school board and namesake of the gymnasium of Firebaugh High School, from which Allen graduated in 2014.[1]

Growing up as a Fresno State fan who regularly attended both games and football camps, Allen tried to draw the interest of the program's coaching staff; his father tried to sell the Bulldogs' head coach at the time, Tim DeRuyter, on him, but DeRuyter chose not to offer a scholarship. DeRuyter was not alone in this assessment; Allen received no scholarship offers from any NCAA Division I program—whether in the top-level FBS or second-tier FCS. San Diego State made him an offer to walk on, but Allen turned it down because Aztecs coach Rocky Long couldn't guarantee any playing time. In a 2017 story on Allen, ESPN journalist Mark Schlabach speculated on why Allen got so little interest out of high school:[1]

At the time, Josh was about 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds. He hadn't attended the elite quarterback camps and wasn't a widely known prospect. His high school team didn't participate in many 7-on-7 camps because Josh and many of his teammates were busy playing baseball and other sports. He was the leading scorer on his basketball team and also pitched on the baseball team, reaching 90 mph with his fastball.

Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Eisenberg added in another 2017 story,[2]

At a time when many scholarship-hungry families encourage their kids to specialize in one sport or to transfer to the school that will provide the most exposure, the Allens resisted both trends. They spurned overtures from more prominent Central Valley programs after Allen’s breakout junior season and kept him at Firebaugh, living by the family mantra that "you bloom where you’re planted."

Not only was Allen involved in multiple sports while in high school, he also regularly worked on the family farm and at the restaurant his mother operated in Firebaugh.[2]

College careerEdit

Allen attended Reedley College, a junior college where one of the football assistant coaches at the time was married to Allen's cousin.[1] Reedley's offensive coordinator at the time, Ernie Rodriguez, recalled in Eisenberg's story, "He was putting up ungodly numbers and making some incredible throws, but he was getting no love. I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t believe that nobody wanted him."[2] Allen did not play in the team's first three games in 2014, but in the next game ran for four touchdowns after coming off the bench, and soon became the team's starter,[1] throwing for 25 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions for the rest of the season.[2] By then, he had grown to 6'5" and 210 pounds (1.96 m, 95 kg), and his coaches at Reedley thought that he would soon receive many FBS scholarship offers. This proved incorrect; near the end of the season, Allen sent a mass email to every head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and quarterback coach in FBS, but received interest from only a small number of schools. Only Eastern Michigan and Wyoming offered him a scholarship, and Eastern Michigan withdrew its offer when Allen visited Wyoming late in the 2014–15 junior-college signing period.[1]

Wyoming's coaches initially visited Reedley to scout another potential transfer,[1] but former Fresno State assistant Dave Brown, who had since become part of the inaugural staff of new Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl, was familiar with Allen, and urged offensive coordinator Brett Vigen to recruit him.[2] While researching Allen, Vigen noticed a large number of parallels between Allen and a quarterback whom he had recruited in 2010 while serving in the same role at North Dakota StateCarson Wentz, who went on to become a starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz was similar in size to Allen, and also shared Allen's small-town, multi-sport, and late-blooming background.[2] Bohl soon warmed to Allen as a prospect, especially after the quarterback prospect his staff had initially targeted committed to Syracuse. Bohl was the only FBS head coach to visit the family farm, and while there, he told Allen's father, "We went all around the country and there's only one quarterback we want and that's your son. He's going to be the face of our program."[1] Despite receiving an offer from Wyoming, Allen made one final pitch to Fresno State's staff, sending a pointed email to an assistant referencing the fact that the team had received a commitment from a quarterback prospect who was both shorter and lighter than Allen was when Fresno State turned him down in high school.[1] After being rebuffed, he committed to Wyoming, enrolling there prior to the 2015 season.[3]

In his first year at Wyoming, he played in two games and made one start. In his first career start he attempted only four passes before suffering a broken collarbone which ended his season; because the injury occurred early in the season, he qualified for a medical redshirt.[4][5] Allen returned from the injury in 2016 and was Wyoming's starter.[6][7]

After throwing for over 3,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2016, he contemplated declaring for the 2017 NFL draft, initially telling his family, girlfriend, and a few friends that he would turn pro.[1] Shortly before the deadline to declare for the draft, Vigen called Allen's father to explain why he should stay at Wyoming an extra year; according to Eisenberg, "When Joel Allen got off the phone and entered his son’s room, he found his son riddled with anxiety about his decision."[2] Before the draft declaration deadline, Bohl told Allen that staying in school one more year would improve his long-term NFL prospects, and Allen also sought advice from Wentz, who told him that in the NFL, he would have many league veterans depending on him to "win games and help secure their jobs."[1] Allen ultimately remained at Wyoming. He threw for 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 2017.[8]

College statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yards Y/Att Long TDs Int Sacked Rating Att Yards Avg TD
2015 Wyoming 2 1 4 6 66.7 51 8.5 19 0 0 0 127.8 3 40 13.3 0
2016 Wyoming 14 14 209 373 56.0 3,203 8.6 54 28 15 26 144.9 142 523 3.7 7
2017 Wyoming 11 11 152 270 56.3 1,812 6.7 47 16 6 22 138.1 92 204 2.2 5
NCAA Totals 27 26 365 649 56.2 5,066 7.8 54 44 21 48 137.7 237 767 3.2 12


Professional careerEdit

Allen at Bills training camp in August 2018.

Shortly after the completion of the 2017 NFL Draft, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter said about Allen's NFL prospects, "There was one personnel director who told me this week that you can put in the books, Josh Allen will be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft next year."[1] In December 2017, after leading the 8–5 Cowboys to a 37–14 win over Central Michigan in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Allen announced he would be entering the 2018 NFL Draft.[10] In his first mock draft in January 2018, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicted that the Cleveland Browns would select Allen over other top quarterbacks in the 2018 draft, such as Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson.[11]

On the day of the draft, old Twitter posts of his in which Allen used several racial slurs when he was in high school, were brought up.[12][13][14] He apologized, stating that he was "young and dumb" for making them.[15]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
6 ft 4 78 in
(1.95 m)
237 lb
(108 kg)
33 14 in
(0.84 m)
10 18 in
(0.26 m)
4.75 s 1.59 s 2.74 s 4.40 s 6.90 s 33 12 in
(0.85 m)
9 ft 11 in
(3.02 m)
All values are from NFL Combine[16][17]

Buffalo BillsEdit

Allen playing against the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 preseason

The Buffalo Bills drafted Allen with the seventh overall pick in the draft, trading up from 12th overall with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make the selection.[18] On July 25, he signed a four-year, fully guaranteed $21 million contract with the Bills.[19] Allen competed for the starting quarterback position behind AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman through the offseason and training camp.[20] Despite a quality preseason, Allen started the season as the backup to Peterman after McCarron was traded to the Oakland Raiders.[21]

On September 9, 2018, Allen made his first regular season appearance against the Baltimore Ravens after Peterman was benched due to bad performance. Allen finished 6 for 15 for 74 passing yards as the Bills lost 47-3.[22][23] On September 12, it was announced that Allen would start the following week against the Los Angeles Chargers.[24] Allen finished with 245 passing yards, his first passing touchdown, which went to Kelvin Benjamin, and two interceptions as the Bills lost 20-31. He also rushed for 32 yards.[25] Allen's 57-yard completion to Zay Jones, which traveled 64 yards, tied for the second longest air distance ever recorded by NFL Next Gen Stats for a completed pass.[26][27]

Against the Minnesota Vikings in week 3, Allen led the Bills to their first victory of the season with a dominant first half performance. Allen passed for 196 yards and a touchdown, adding 39 yards on the ground with two rushing touchdowns in the 27-6 victory.[28] In particular, he hurdled over Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr on one of his scrambles to pick up a first down.[29]

In week 5, playing the Tennessee Titans, Allen completed 10 of 19 passes for 82 passing yards and an interception in the 13-12 win, adding another rushing touchdown.[30] The following week, in a 20-13 loss to the Houston Texans, Allen suffered an elbow injury and did not return. He finished the game completing 10 of 17 passes for 84 passing yards, with an additional 20 rushing yards.[31] He was expected to miss at least two games with the injury.[32]

Allen returned after missing four games, getting the start against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which was noteworthy as Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey had called Allen "trash" prior to the season.[33][34] In a back-and-forth game that saw the Bills win 24-21 over the Jaguars, Allen completed 8 of 19 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown, adding 99 yards on the ground on 13 rushes and a rushing touchdown.[35] The 99 rushing yards broke the Bills franchise record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback, previously held by Tyrod Taylor.[36][37] During a game against the New York Jets and fellow rookie quarterback Sam Darnold in Week 14, Allen finished with 206 passing yards and 2 interceptions, adding a rushing touchdown on 101 rushing yards as the Bills lost a close game 23-27.[38]

Career AccomplishmentsEdit

Wyoming Cowboys football recordsEdit

  • Most total touchdowns in a season — 35 (tied with Randy Welniak and Josh Wallwork)[39]

NFL recordsEdit

  • First quarterback to rush for at least 95 yards in three consecutive games (Week 12-14, 2018)[40]
  • Most rush yards by a quarterback in 3 game span — 335 (Week 12-14, 2018)[41]

Buffalo Bills franchise recordsEdit

  • Most rushing yards by Bills quarterback in single game — 135[42]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Schlabach, Mark (August 16, 2017). "Meet the NFL draft darling who couldn't get a college scholarship". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Eisenberg, Jeff (August 17, 2017). "How Wyoming's Josh Allen went from zero scholarships to the top of NFL draft boards". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Vorel, Mike. "California JC QB Josh Allen commits to Wyoming". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Holmgren, Ryan (March 23, 2016). "Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reflects on injury, eyes bright future". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Auerbach, Nicole (September 7, 2016). "Inside the Game: Wyoming QB Josh Allen naked and famous". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Foster, Brandon (August 27, 2016). "Josh Allen could be missing piece to Wyoming's offensive puzzle". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Associated Press News". Associated Press. Retrieved April 20, 2018.[dead link]
  8. ^ Anteola, Bryant-Jon; Galaviz, Anthony. "Firebaugh's Josh Allen weathers draft day storm, taken by Bills with No. 7 pick". Fresno Bee. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  9. ^ "Josh Allen NCAA FB Stats - Season & Career Statistics". FOX Sports. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Aschoff, Edward (December 22, 2017). "Wyoming QB Josh Allen says he'll skip senior year, enter 2018 draft". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Kiper Jr., Mel (January 18, 2018). "Mel Kiper's 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Hendricks, Jaclyn. "Ugly Josh Allen tweets emerge at the worst time". New York Post. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  13. ^ Kirshner, Alex. "The Josh Allen deleted-tweets story highlights 3 absurd things about the NFL". SB Nation. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  14. ^ "JOSH ALLEN APOLOGIZES FOR RACIST TWEETS ... 'Young and Dumb'". TMZ. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Josh Allen takes responsibility for tweets sent as high schooler". ESPN. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  16. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Josh Allen". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  17. ^ "Josh Allen - Wyoming, QB : 2018 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Teope, Herbie (April 26, 2018). "Buffalo Bills trade up to draft Josh Allen at No. 7 overall".
  19. ^ "Josh Allen Contract". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  20. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Bills GM Brandon Beane: Josh Allen to begin as third QB". Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  21. ^ Dubin, Jared (September 2, 2018). "After trading AJ McCarron, Bills name 2017 fifth-rounder Nathan Peterman starting QB". CBS Sports.
  22. ^ "Ravens get defensive in 47-3 rout of inept Bills". Associated Press. ESPN. September 9, 2018.
  23. ^ Maoirana, Sal (September 9, 2018). "Enough already with Nathan Peterman; Time to turn to Josh Allen is now". Democrat & Chronicle.
  24. ^ Breer, Albert. "Josh Allen Becomes Buffalo's Starter: Are the Bills Making the Right Move?". MMQB. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  25. ^ Rodak, Mike. "Bills lose in Allen's first start; McCoy hurt". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  26. ^ Rodak, Mike (September 16, 2018). "Josh Allen can't save Bills in loss to Chargers". ESPN. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  27. ^ Parrino, Matt (September 16, 2018). "Chargers' Philip Rivers thinks Bills' Josh Allen has 'the right approach'". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  28. ^ "Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings - September 23rd, 2018". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  29. ^ "Watch: Bills Rookie QB Josh Allen Goes Airborn, Leaps Over Vikings' Defender". Sports Illustrated. September 23, 2018.
  30. ^ "Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills - October 7th, 2018". Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  31. ^ Shook, Nick (October 14, 2018). "Josh Allen (elbow) does not return in Bills' loss". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  32. ^ "Report: Josh Allen getting second opinion on UCL injury". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  33. ^ Kowalski, Rich. "Reaction: Bills fans let Jalen Ramsey hear for calling Josh Allen "trash"". Bills Wire. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  34. ^ Skipper, Clay (15 August 2018). "Jalen Ramsey Has Something to Say (About Literally Everyone)". GQ. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Bills QB Allen returns to beat Jaguars, silence Ramsey". The Associated Press. Fox Sports. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  36. ^ Parrino, Matt. "Welcome back, Josh Allen: 8 observations from rookie's return to Bills (videos)". Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  37. ^ Wojton, Nick (25 November 2018). "What surprising Bills team record Josh Allen broke". Bills Wire. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  38. ^ Murphy, Sean. "Buffalo Bills can't hang on, lose to New York Jets 27-23". Buffalo Rumblings. SB Nation. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Josh Allen". Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  40. ^ Frank, Vincent (3 December 2018). "Bills' Josh Allen breaks NFL record in loss to the Dolphins". Yard Barker. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  41. ^ Dixon, Michael. "Josh Allen breaks NFL record previously held by Michael Vick". SportsNaut. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  42. ^ Lovell, Blake (2 December 2018). "Josh Allen breaks Bills' franchise record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a game". Clutch Points. Retrieved 5 December 2018.

External linksEdit