Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen’s role in the team’s future success

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Josh Allen of Wyoming after he was picked #7 overall by the Buffalo Bills during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Josh Allen of Wyoming after he was picked #7 overall by the Buffalo Bills during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

High expectations surround first-round draft pick Josh Allen. What role will he played in the future success of the Buffalo Bills?

Six talented quarterbacks waited in anticipation to be selected at the 2018 NFL Draft. Under unlikely circumstances, all six were able to accomplish being drafted by an NFL franchise in the first round.

Debates have sparked about which quarterback is the most naturally gifted. Which rookie has the best roster to support his success? Who will need to wait for their starting position the longest?

The banter may continue on about who has the potential to be the best, but there’s one quarterback from the 2018 NFL Draft that seems to be a diamond in the rough.

Out of the six potential stars, it appears as though Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has become a quiet candidate.

History is doomed to repeat itself, and for the 2018 draft class, it very well could have started. The drama and anticipation are the same that mirrors the 2012 NFL Draft.

Headlines and cameras were all on first-round prospects such as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weeden. The hype swallowed Luck and RG3, as the media couldn’t get enough of the young athletes and the competition they would hold each other accountable for.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks were ready to start the season with LSU’s Matt Flynn, who was acquired via trade from the Green Bay Packers. Ever-so-quietly, a Wisconsin quarterback, Russell Wilson, stole the quarterback starting role during training camp.

Wilson, a third-round pick in 2012, has become the most successful quarterback from his draft class. Josh Allen has the ability to be his own quiet geyser that can heat up quickly and rise to his full potential.

Before the draft in April, Buffalo acquired quarterback AJ McCarron from the Cincinnati Bengals via trade. Since Allen has been drafted, reports have been released that Nathan Peterman may be the starting quarterback for the Bills.

Criticism has quickly pointed towards Allen, even if perhaps undeserving. While Allen may not start in Week 1 for Buffalo, neither have a number of other rookie quarterbacks in recent memory.

Mike Glennon was originally the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears last season. It wasn’t until Week 5 that Mitchell Trubisky took over as a starter. Even Bill O’Brien didn’t start DeShaun Watson the first game of the season.

After a miserable first half, Tom Savage was benched for Watson, and O’Brien hasn’t looked back since.

While Carson Wentz was thrown to the wolves in Philadelphia, Jared Goff didn’t get his first official start until much later in the season his rookie year.

Other than Sam Darnald, every other rookie drafted in the first round in 2018 looks to be sitting in Week 1, as well. Former Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor should be starting for the Cleveland Browns. Sam Bradford will maintain his starting position over Josh Rosen.

Joe Flacco remains as a primary lead for the Baltimore Ravens over Lamar Jackson. So why does Josh Allen get the hard criticism for waiting and learning under McCarron and Peterman?

Much Needed Improvements

Offensively, the Buffalo Bills were terrible last year. They ranked 22nd in total points scored, 29th in average yards per game, and 29th in average passing yards. Taylor may be a great game manager, but it’s hard to manage much of anything if the ball isn’t being moved around very much.

Josh Allen needs to be able to throw the ball in order to move the chains. Allen will make his mistakes his first year, just as most rookies do. The loyal Buffalo fans will need to be patient with him, though.

Allow him to learn from those mistakes and improve himself further.

Buffalo was ranked sixth in average rushing yards per game last season. LeSean McCoy played a very large role in moving the ball. Criticism has lingered on whether McCoy will be able to maintain his tempo after turning 30 years old during the offseason.

While Taylor was throwing at such a low rate, people may have forgotten some of the wide receivers on the team. Buffalo acquired Kelvin Benjamin in a trade with the Carolina Panthers. Zay Jones and Charles Clay have shown glimpses of excellence on the team, as well.

Taylor didn’t utilize wideouts such as Sammy Watkins and Chris Hogan when they were in Buffalo. Allen may have the opportunity to show the NFL what weapons may be hiding in their arsenal.

After selecting Allen in the first round, the Buffalo Bills made the smart decision of going defense-heavy for the remainder of the draft. Choosing players such as Tremaine Edwards, Harrison Phillips, Taron Johnson, and Siran Neal will add further depth to their roster.

Last season, the Bills’ defense favored fairly well. Players stepped up to the plate, including Preston Brown, who accumulated the most tackles on the team. Former Green Bay Packers safety Micah Hyde showed his value by creating the most turnovers on defense.

If defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier can build a system for his players to turn the ball over quickly, it will only help Allen that much more.


The Journey Back To The Postseason

Excluding the Bills Mafia fan base, people seem to have already forgotten that the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs last season. With a 9-7 record, the Bills were eliminated during the Wild Card round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The trip may have been short-lived, but the playoff drought has officially been put to an end.

Luckily for Buffalo, getting back to the playoffs should be a manageable task. The AFC currently is the weakest it’s been since the ’90’s. Even the AFC East is very up in the air on who can take the lead.

The New England Patriots are understandably a favorite with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Nobody is quite sure what kind of season a 41-year-old Brady will have this season, though. Father Time will surely win his battle one day over the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Buffalo will need to win their divisional games over the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Both rivals are rebuilding their brand in preparation for Tom Brady’s retirement in the near future, but Buffalo seems to be one step ahead.

If Buffalo can’t win the AFC East, they’ll have a great chance at the Wild Card for a second year in a row. The entirety of the AFC South is so stacked that teams will be scraping and clawing at each other in order to claim their playoff berth.

The AFC West has been reset and is rebuilding itself in a similar fashion to the AFC East, and doesn’t appear very threatening. The Pittsburgh Steelers once again are the only team to beat in the AFC North, while the rest of the division looks a little lackluster.

The American Football Conference’s transitional downfall could be the greatest benefit towards the Buffalo Bills in order to see the postseason once again. Bills fans should hope for another playoff berth this season in order for more appearances in the future.

Becoming more familiar with the playoffs will help the young players get a feel for success. It won’t be very long before the New England Patriots’ dominant dynasty will come to an end. When that day happens, the entire division will be wide open for the taking.

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Experience and dedication in the playoffs will give Josh Allen an advantage to help the Buffalo Bills build towards taking over the division.