Bills’ Josh Allen Makes Enormous Jump as NFL Execs Rate Top QBs

Josh Allen

Getty Josh Allen throws a pass in a game against the New England Patriots.

At this time last year, NFL executives had a relatively low assessment of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, despite his steady signs of improvement as he led the team back into the playoffs. What a difference a year makes.

A new assessment of league execs shared by ESPN puts Allen among the best in the league, with one exec ranking him as the second-best signal-caller in the NFL. The new ranking reflects the amazing jump that Allen took last season, as he broke a number of team records and finished second in the league MVP voting.

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Allen Among League’s Best

To compile the list of the league’s top 10 quarterbacks, ESPN surveyed more than 50 league executives along with coaches and scouts. Allen didn’t crack the top 10 in 2020 — understandable, given that his numbers from the previous year put him closer to the middle of the pack and he was still working on some of his mechanics and decision-making. The list is a snapshot of the present, ESPN stressed, not a projection of the coming years or a reflection of their career.

By that standard, Allen ranked as one of the best in the league going into 2021. The site put him at No. 5 overall, with one executive ranking him as the second-best. Some had big praise for the jump he made between 2019 and 2020.

“The growth was pretty impressive,” one unnamed NFL offensive coach told ESPN. “There were times when he was so in command of the offense, and when he’s on top of his protections pre-snap, he’s incredibly tough to beat.”

Others noted that Allen still has some areas to work on, but has already shored up many of his major deficits.

“His biggest weakness is also what makes him so good — his competitiveness, and wanting to make the best play,” an AFC scout said. “He’ll hold onto the ball a little too long or bail on the pocket too early. He often gets away with that because he’s so strong and can break tackles, but against good defenses, he might press, and it gets him into trouble.”

Patrick Mahomes topped the list, followed by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson.

Allen Still on the Rise

Other insiders believe that Allen could continue to improve in the coming season. Earlier this offseason, Good Morning Football analyst Peter Schrager predicted that Allen will break through in 2021, earning the league MVP that he just missed in the previous year.

“I don’t think like… he’s a MVP candidate, I think he’s a MVP favorite for this season,” Schrager said, via USA Today’s Bills Wire. “I think that’s the next step.”

Meanwhile, the Bills have been working on a contract extension that would lock Allen down for the long term. Head coach Sean McDermott offered a positive update on the process last week, saying he believes it’s only a matter of time before it’s finalized.

“(Brandon) Brandon mentioned that, I think at the end of the spring practice period there, and these things handle themselves. They work themselves out when you got two parties that want to be together and have the same end goal in mind,” McDermott said in an appearance on the NFL Network. “Josh is a great, young talent and he fits so well with Buffalo and the city and the town and the people of Buffalo. So, I firmly believe it’s gonna work itself out.”

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