Bills Trade Up to Draft Josh Allen After QB Apologized for Racist Tweets

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) during the first half of the Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala.,Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills found an opportunity to get their franchise quarterback by trading up to select Josh Allen out of Wyoming with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. 

Originally slotted to have the 12th choice, the Bills made a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to climb up five spots. 

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle provided details of the trade between Buffalo and Tampa Bay:

First-round quarterbacks always draw a reaction, and Twitter did not disappoint Thursday:

There was some controversy coming into the draft about Allen due to controversial tweets, including racist language he sent out in high school, were unearthed on Wednesday night. 

"If I could go back in time, I would never have done this in a heartbeat," Allen told ESPN's Chris Mortensen about the situation. "At the time, I obviously didn't know how harmful it was and now has become."

Allen was one of the more polarizing prospects leading up to this year's draft as someone who did not play in a Power Five conference with Wyoming and failed to put up jaw-dropping numbers against lesser competition.

He completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions in 11 games in 2017. While he threw for 3,203 yards and 28 touchdowns in 14 games in 2016, he also completed just 56 percent of his passes and had 15 interceptions.

He also failed to make statements against marquee opponents in 2017, finishing with one touchdown pass and five interceptions in games against Oregon, Iowa and Boise State.

After Allen's up-and-down collegiate career, Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com had him well behind many of the other top quarterback prospects in February:

Ryan McCrystal of Bleacher Report trusted general managers to avoid what he deemed the "epic mistake" of picking Allen in the first round:

However, there was also plenty of love for his potential.

In February, Mike Mayock of NFL.com listed Allen as the No. 2 quarterback behind only USC's Sam Darnold and ahead of UCLA's Josh Rosen. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller predicted him to go No. 5 overall to the Denver Broncos in his post-Super Bowl mock draft, and ESPN's Mel Kiper had him going No. 1 overall at one point, saying, "Coaches want to work with the 6'5" Allen because he has all of the tools."

At first glance, it isn't particularly difficult to see why some like Allen's potential at the NFL level. He has the prototypical size to stand in the pocket and find receivers downfield and possesses the arm strength to hit the deep ball and thread the needle on underneath routes.

The Wyoming product is also mobile enough to extend plays when the pocket breaks down.

The Bills took a gamble on Allen's potential with this selection in the hopes he fulfills it and improves on his collegiate numbers.

The presence of AJ McCarron means there won't necessarily be immediate pressure on Allen to step in and assume the starting role, but Buffalo didn't make this pick so he can sit on the bench too long. This is a team looking for a franchise signal-caller after trading Tyrod Taylor, and Allen could fit the bill.

If he succeeds, all those questions about his college numbers will be quickly forgotten.

Related

    One Starter Every NFL Team Must Replace in 2019

    Buffalo Bills logo
    Buffalo Bills

    One Starter Every NFL Team Must Replace in 2019

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    Gordon Apologizes to Fantasy Owners 😂

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Gordon Apologizes to Fantasy Owners 😂

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Martavis Bryant Suspended Indefinitely by NFL

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Martavis Bryant Suspended Indefinitely by NFL

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Ref Ellison Fined, Reinstated After Incident with Hughes

    Buffalo Bills logo
    Buffalo Bills

    Ref Ellison Fined, Reinstated After Incident with Hughes

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report