ARLINGTON, Texas — Wyoming’s Josh Allen has everything an NFL scout could want in a quarterback.
At 6-5, 237 pounds he’s big and strong enough to hang in the pocket and fight off pass rushers. His mobility is excellent. And there’s that arm, which can launch the football impossibly long distances and get it to receivers in an instant.
But . . .
There’s also that unsightly 56.2 completion percentage in 2017, which ranked a mere 82nd among FBS passers. That’s not the kind of number one would expect from a quarterback expected to be among the top five players taken in the 2018 NFL Draft — and could be a target for the Jets, who pick third, or the Giants at No. 2.
Allen has heard the criticism from draft pundits that he is inaccurate. And heard it. And heard it. And it didn’t take long for him to get tired of hearing it.
When was that, exactly?
“At the start of the whole process,” he said Wednesday at an NFL Play 60 event in the shadow of AT&T Stadium, where the draft will be held.
Allen has spent the run-up to the draft working to quiet those critics, preparing with fellow top prospect Sam Darnold of Southern Cal under noted quarterback coach Jordan Palmer, who gained acclaim for preparing 2017 rookie sensation Deshaun Watson of Houston.
Palmer, the younger brother of longtime NFL QB Carson Palmer, has concentrated on improving Allen’s footwork, which, Allen said, has made his throws significantly more accurate.
“I don’t think I’m an inaccurate quarterback. Obviously, the 56 percent completion percentage is not where it needs to be. But when my feet are set, I’m throwing on platform and throwing with rhythm, I’m as accurate as anyone out there.
“I’m looking forward to showing that. I feel like I have during this process — at the Senior Bowl, the Combine and my pro day. Now I want to use it in live games with the bullets flying at me.”
That won’t happen for months yet, but at least one step in that direction is almost here.
And not a moment too soon, Allen said.
“This has been the longest four or five months of my life,” he said. “This whole process is so drawn out. They could have had the draft a month ago and I would have been fine with that.
“But now we’re a day away, knowing all this stuff is going to be over with, we’re going to be on a team, we’re going to be working, it’s going to be football 24/7 — I just can’t wait for that.”
Allen spoke glowingly about new Giants coach Pat Shurmur, whom he first met at the famed Manning Passing Academy, calling him “just a good person who cares, is genuine and means what he says.”
That said, he said when he is selected and where he ends up is not important.
“It’s really exciting just knowing I’m going to get picked, whether it’s the top or No. 100,” Allen said. “I’m looking to prove myself after the draft. That’s really what happens. It’s not where or when you get drafted, it’s what you do after you’re drafted. That’s what I’m looking forward to.
“I had seven visits, so I can see myself in seven different uniforms. Whatever happens, happens. I’m looking forward to the challenge of being in the NFL. I’m looking forward to getting with my teammates and my new coaching staff and putting in the hours to start winning football games. Because that’s really what it’s all about.”