The draft will happen in little more than two weeks. For many, the draft boards are set, or damn close to it. So maybe it’s now officially nit-picking time.
That was the reaction during Monday’s PFT Live of Chris Simms to the assessment of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen by former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who shared with Peter King of SI.com two specific critiques of Allen.
“There’s a couple of times on tape in a game where he’ll get up to the line of scrimmage and he’ll communicate with his offensive line,” Orlovsky said. “It looks like he’s changing your protection or setting your protection one way. . . . There’s a clip against Iowa where he changes a protection. The [weakside] linebacker blitzes and everybody runs hot and Josh Allen does not move till his third step of the drop. What were you thinking? What was going on? And that shows up way too much for me. And again, that stuff is not fixable. You think Dick LeBeau is easier to do it against? When he’s got Star Wars on the back end going on? . . . When the ball is snapped it’s almost like, I don’t know what’s going on. . . . It seems like he doesn’t have a plan and a process, and to get to the NFL level and to not be able to do the little things — if you can’t do the little things, you can’t do the big things. The little things are your plan and your process. The big things are executing against what happens. And so it just seems like he doesn’t have that as part of his DNA, as part of his quarterbacking. And that for me I go, ‘Well, what does it matter how big he is, how athletic he is if you could throw it to the moon, the field’s a hundred yards.’ To not be able to adjust or react to a [weakside] linebacker blitzing is alarming to me. Alarming.”
Simms pointed out that, without knowing what Allen said to his teammates and/or what Allen had been coached to do in those situations, it’s too hard to know exactly why things happened the way they appeared to be. As to Orlovsky’s other concern — that Allen stares down receivers — Simms seemed to give the issue more credence. But Simms pointed out that every incoming quarterback has flaws, and that he’ll need to be coached to iron out his flaws.
For Allen, it may be staring down a receiver. For each of the other top-tier quarterbacks, it’s something else. The challenge becomes figuring out who will overcome those deficiencies and become great players at the next level.