This is the second in an ongoing series on 2019 NFL Draft prospects by Chris Reed. He will evaluate projected first-round picks and their fit for the Raiders. Today, we look at Kentucky’s talented EDGE rusher Josh Allen.
Name: Josh Allen
Gifted pass rusher with an exceptional bend, quality initial burst with solid hand usage, quicker than fast and chews grass with long strides, does a good job of using his reach to keep himself clean, good coverage skills as an off-ball linebacker add to system versatility.
Struggled at times taking on offensive tackles, hand usage can be better in the run, wasn’t an every down DE and size may limit him early, looked good coming out of a 3-point stance but didn’t use it often, needs to wrap up more when attacking the ball.
Why He Would Fit the Raiders:
Allen may very well end up being the number two EDGE prospect depending on his testing at the combine. The Raiders will be looking to add pass rushers and they will be interested in locking up a player who recorded 17 sacks last season. He isn’t the fastest or most fluid pass rusher in this draft but his combination of burst, bend, and technical ability make him one of the most complete prospects.
Josh has great hip and ankle flexion allowing him to turn the corner when he did get the opportunity to rush the passer. His sack totals may have been higher if he wasn’t asked to drop into coverage so much. That will benefit him during the interview process though. That scheme versatility will make him an intriguing prospect that can play in any defense.
Allen already possesses a good “swipe and rip” as well as a decent “arm over” and will add to this toolbox. His six-foot-five frame leaves plenty of room to add weight that shouldn’t hurt his burst. Adding some violence to his hands will help him in both run support as well as pass rushing. Overall he is a solid prospect that will improve any teams defensive line and may be one of the top defensive players that are still actually on the board for the team’s fourth overall selection.
Why He Would Not Fit the Raiders:
Allen’s physical measurements will be important to his draft stock. He struggled against offensive tackles and maintaining containment at times. He has been listed between 240-260 pounds which could determine if a team views him as a guy that can start his career with his hand in the dirt. His value is much higher as a defensive end than as an off-ball linebacker.
He could stand to clean up his tackling as well. He tended to drop his shoulder more than wrap up though that is easily correctable. Allen’s long strides could potentially have a negative impact on his grade if teams are looking at his as a linebacker. It is tougher for “long striders” to maintain speed while changing directions which will impact his coverage ability at the next level. It does seem unlikely however that he will be playing standing up in the NFL.