Since being drafted in 2017, Josh Allen has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has become skilled as both a passer and a running back and has become one of the most exciting players at any position in the NFL.
Allen struggled in his rookie year, where he played in 12 games and started 11. He completed just 52.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,074 yards (172.8 yards per game), with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Even if he struggled as a passer early on, his running prowess was evident when he rushed for 631 yards and eight touchdowns.
Allen’s struggles in the passing game to start his NFL career mirrored the start of his college career. In fact, there is very little about Allen’s journey so far that has been easy or straightforward. From having zero Division I scholarship offers to going to college and then attending a Group of 5 middle school, Allen’s path has been a rocky one.
Sporting News takes a look at the various stops along the way that shaped Allen before a divisional round rematch against the Chiefs.
Where did Josh Allen go to college?
Even if Allen’s path to the NFL isn’t entirely unique, it still hasn’t been easy. Allen, like Aaron Rodgers, Warren Moon and others, saw his college football journey begin at the junior college level. Originally from Firebaugh, California, Allen dreamed of going to Fresno State after high school, but got zero Division I deals of any kind, either FBS or FCS.
So, Allen enrolled at Reedley College, a JUCO near Fresno, where he played in 10 games and started in six as a freshman. In all, when his time at Reedley came to an end, he had completed 49 percent of his passes but had 2,055 yards, 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions in the air along with 660 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
After that, Allen states that Sent an email to each of FBS’s head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators, and position coaches asking them to take a look at their best moments. Allen eventually received two offers from FBS but none from the Power 5 schools. The two interested schools were MAC’s Eastern Michigan and Mountain West’s Wyoming, where he ultimately ended up.
Eastern Michigan withdrew its offer to Allen because he visited Wyoming first, but the Cowboys only even offered Allen after one of his top QB targets went to Syracuse.
Once he arrived at Laramie in 2015, Allen played in two games and started one, but suffered a broken bone. clavicle at seven points, just 13 snaps in his first game as a starter. The injury caused him to miss the rest of the season. He returned to the team in 2016 as a full-time starter and went on to start 25 games for the Cowboys.
He finished his career in Wyoming with 5,066 yards, 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in the air, along with 767 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground, all of which he ultimately put to good use to become the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Josh Allen Stats
For the skeptics Allen had coming out of high school and college, he has shown that he clearly can do it at the NFL level. A Pro-Bowler and second-team All-Pro last year, Allen completed 63.3 percent of his passes this season while throwing for 4,407 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
But beyond his passing ability, Allen was perhaps even better on the ground. He led the NFL this year in yards per carry with 6.3, thanks to 763 yards and six touchdowns, making him the second leading rusher on his team and the 25th running back in the league ahead of running backs such as Miles Sanders, James Conner and Saquon Barkley.
Over the course of his four seasons in the league, Allen played in 61 games and started 60, with 14,114 yards, 103 touchdowns and 46 interceptions while completing 62.3 percent of his passes. He has added another 2,325 yards and 31 rushing touchdowns.
Josh Allen contract
Like most first-round picks, Allen signed a four-year rookie deal with a team option for a fifth season. That original deal was for four years and $21.44 million, with a $23 million team option, which Buffalo ultimately took for next season.
In August 2021, Allen signed an extension after a 2020 season in which he led the Bills to their first playoff victory, and subsequently a berth in the AFC title game, since 1995. He also broke Hall of Famer Jim Kelly’s franchise record for a single season. touchdown passes also in 2020.
Looking ahead to this season, Allen signed a six-year, $258 million extension, with $100 million in guaranteed money and $30 million in potential incentives.
Allen is the first of five 2018 first-round quarterback picks to sign a long-term deal.