Josh Allen: I'm the Best Pass Rusher, Overall Player in 2019 NFL Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2019

Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

With the 2019 NFL draft approaching, Kentucky edge defender Josh Allen isn't lacking in terms of confidence.

According to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini, Allen spoke with ESPN at Kentucky's pro day on Friday and expressed his belief that he is unmatched in the 2019 draft class:

"You can just watch the film, watch the games. If you're talking about stats, I mean, I finished second in the nation in sacks, playing in the SEC, which doesn't throw the ball as much as other conferences. I'm physical. I played the whole season. I played every game. I'm healthy. I just think I'm the best edge rusher, the best pass rusher, the best overall player in this draft."

Allen is expected to be among the top players off the board in April's draft after registering 88 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks and five forced fumbles en route to being named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.

Additionally, Allen was a unanimous All-American last season and the winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

With Allen leading the way, the Wildcats won 10 games for the first time since 1977. They also ranked sixth in the nation in scoring defense despite facing teams like Georgia and Penn State on their schedule.

After turning in a great performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Allen decided against participating in any drills at his pro day. At 6'5" and 262 pounds, Allen ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds, while also registering 28 bench-press reps and completing a broad jump of 118 inches.

Along with his combine showing and huge numbers in 2018, Allen was highly productive at Kentucky in 2016 and 2017 as well. Allen registered seven sacks in each of those seasons, which gives him a body of work that few others can match.

Per Cimini, it is widely expected by those within the NFL that the New York Jets will take Allen with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft if he is available, provided they decide to play a 3-4 defense.

Allen is a Montclair, New Jersey, native, and he seemed open to landing with the Jets or New York Giants: "I'm from there and I know the areas, so I wouldn't have to get introduced as much. It would mean a lot, being back home in my old stomping grounds. I didn't grow up a Giants or Jets fan, but I wouldn't mind being a fan now."

In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected that Allen will go fourth overall to the Oakland Raiders as a potential replacement for Khalil Mack, who was traded to the Chicago Bears last year.

Regardless of exactly where he lands, most draft experts seem to agree that he is a surefire top-five pick.

Ohio State's Nick Bosa has been going to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2 overall in most mocks, meaning that the Niners may view him as a better pass rusher than Allen, but Allen's comments suggest that he has no doubt about where he belongs among the draft's top players.

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