There’s enough NFL Draft chatter to suggest the San Francisco 49ers grabbing Josh Allen at No. 2 overall would be a reach. But Allen appears to be rising up boards lately.
One of the consensus arguments leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft this April is the San Francisco 49ers will have their choice of two top prospects at No. 2 overall, Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa or Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
Bosa fits a need, while Williams is often seen as an unnecessary pick for a Niners team that has spent three first-round draft picks on defensive linemen the past four years. So it’s not too surprising many a mock draft out there had the 49ers grabbing Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen at No. 2 instead, particularly if the top-drafting Arizona Cardinals wind up with Bosa.
Earlier this month, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller indicated the drop off from Williams to Allen was substantial, saying “Quinnen Williams is a good bit ahead of Josh Allen, who I really like.”
Yet the latest from Miller’s inside work suggests Allen is working his way towards the very top of the draft, no longer just being considered the third best prospect:
Interesting. Especially considering there’s nothing new to evaluate since Allen’s last performance during Kentucky’s win over Penn State in the 2019 Citrus Bowl and the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine later this month.
Yet it’s important to remember a huge chunk of chatter and big-board changes are heavily influenced by the rumor mill — coaches, scouts and even future agents wanting to shake up the draft board to have players either rise or fall. It’s the proverbial “smoke and mirrors” campaign.
This isn’t to say that’s what is happening here, of course. But it’s something to monitor.
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak just published his latest mock NFL Draft, and his ranking for Allen isn’t exactly an endorsement for top-three status. He has the Cardinals grabbing Williams, while the 49ers end up with Bosa. His kicker, however, is the New York Jets at No. 3. Florida State EDGE Brian Burns, who has also shot up big boards, winds up being the pick here.
Not Allen, who is generally viewed as the third best prospect in this year’s class, as previously noted.
Instead, Allen falls all the way to the New York Giants at No. 6. Solak offered up the explanation:
"I’ve spent a fair number of blurbs here ripping on Allen, which feels unnecessary — I just don’t think he’s as high-level a player as some of other draft analysts do. That said, he has everything you can’t teach: size, length, explosiveness, and bend. And his development from 2017 to 2018 spells a nice outlook for his rookie season and beyond: dude has really learned how to attack set points, run a tighter arc, and finish his reps."
So, as it appears, not everyone seems to be onboard with Miller’s report how Allen could be in consideration for top-three selection.
Of course, the point is moot if the 49ers decide they want either Bosa or Williams at No. 2, or elect to even trade down out of that spot — an entirely plausible option.
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25 from Nashville, Tennessee.