Practically immediately after Wyoming’s bowl game on Friday, quarterback Josh Allen removed any doubt by declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Despite a shoulder injury that cost him the final two games of the regular season, and the inherent risk of further injury with the possibility he’ll declare early for the NFL Draft in mind, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Central Michigan on Friday.
Allen led a 37-14 victory for the Cowboys, going 11-for-19 for 154 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Some earlier signs pointed to the likelihood Allen would indeed leave early for the 2018 NFL Draft, most notably being announced with Wyoming’s seniors before the final home game of the season on Nov. 18.
Allen said he felt he owed it to head coach Craig Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen to play in Friday’s game.
"Coming all the way from one scholarship offer, you know, Coach Bohl and Coach Vigen, they believed in me when I came out of junior college, “I felt like I owed them at least one more game here. Football’s a part of me. If I’m not playing, then I’m not me. So I’ve gotta be on the field at all the times, because I love this team, I love this game and I love the Cowboys."
Allen landed on the radar of NFL scouts as a sophomore in 2016, as he threw for 3,203 yards (8.6 yards per attempt) with 28 touchdowns. A drop-off in the talent around him led to a drop in his passing numbers this year, as Allen had 1,658 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 6.6 yards per attempt over 10 games before Friday. But the tools and size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) that initially got the attention of scouts at the next level remain.
Given the fact he’s considered a lock to be drafted early in the first round, and at least one NFL team was in Boise to scout him on Friday afternoon, Allen removed any doubt about his status for the 2018 draft immediately after the game.
ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both have Allen as the No. 3 draft-eligible quarterback in the 2018 class right now. In his latest mock draft, McShay has the Broncos taking Allen at No. 5 overall.