NFL Hot Press: Kentucky Junior LB Josh Allen Generating First-Round Buzz

Kentucky Junior LB Josh Allen Generating First-Round Buzz

Updated Oct. 5, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

When NFL media and fans discuss the name Josh Allen, they are typically talking about the quarterback at Wyoming. Allen has a great skill set, and as a result, he is in the discussion to be a high selection in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, or at least an early-round pick, as a potential franchise quarterback. However, there is another Josh Allen who is creating first-round buzz in the scouting community, and that is Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen. Sources from multiple teams say that the Wildcats’ Josh Allen could end up being a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft as well.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder has been one of the leading defenders in terms of sacks in the early going of the 2017 season. Allen is tied for ninth in the nation with 5.5 sacks. He also has 30 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and a pass batted. Allen produced well as a sophomore in 2016 with 62 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. One national scout compared Allen to Leonard Floyd coming out of Georgia with Allen’s ability to rush off the edge. That scout said Allen isn’t as freaky of an athlete as Floyd was, and Allen is not a top-10 pick, but he did grade Allen as a first-rounder.

Another director of college scouting said he gave Allen a high second-round grade, but thought Allen could definitely end up going in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. That director said Allen was an interesting player because he also can play inside linebacker. whereas Floyd was just an outside edge defender. That college director said as an inside linebacker, Allen has similarities to current Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham in terms of his height, speed, length, and athleticism in the middle.

Allen has his junior year off to an excellent start, and that along with his impressive skill set has NFL scouts thinking he could be a first-round pick next April.