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ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. predicts Josh Allen NFL’s No. 1 pick

Posted at 1:55 PM, Jan 18, 2018

(UW Athletics release)

     LARAMIE, Wyo. – ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. announced his Mock Draft 1.0 on SportsCenter Thursday morning, and Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was predicted by Kiper to go No. 1 in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns.

A link to Kiper’s comments about Allen may be found here.

“When you look at who finished the strongest of the Top 3 quarterbacks, he (Josh Allen) did,” said Kiper.  “And you could say he had this shoulder injury, but he came back from the shoulder against Central Michigan in the bowl, and he lit it up, made NFL throws, showed tremendous competitiveness.  Remember at the beginning of the year they (Wyoming) were missing key starters at running back, wide receiver, tight end and center.  That is why he had some struggles at Iowa starting out the season.”

The missing Wyoming starters Kiper referred to were: running back Brian Hill, wide receiver Tanner Gentry, tight end Jacob Hollister and center Chase Roullier, who all made NFL rosters in 2017.  Hill was drafted in the fifth round by the Atlanta Falcons and ended the season with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Roullier was selected in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins and started several games as a rookie.  Gentry was a free-agent signee by the Chicago Bears and Hollister was a free-agent signee by the New England Patriots.  Both Gentry and Hollister saw playing time, as well, during the 2017 season.

The 2018 NFL Draft will be held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Allen will play in this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday, Jan. 27.  The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m., Mountain Time.  ESPNU and NFL Network will broadcast practices from the Senior Bowl week, which will run Jan. 23-27.  The game will be televised on NFL Network.

Allen, who just graduated in December after completing his junior season at Wyoming in 2017, declared for the 2018 NFL Draft immediately after leading the Wyoming Cowboys to a 37-14 victory in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  He is eligible to play in the Senior Bowl by virtue of completing his bachelor’s degree in social science from UW this past December.

A native of Firebaugh, Calif., Allen led the Cowboys to an 8-5 record in 2017 and a victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  As a redshirt sophomore in 2016, he guided the Cowboys to an 8-6 record, a spot in the 2016 Mountain West Conference Championship Game and a berth in the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.  He also led the Cowboys to wins over two Top 25 teams in the 2016 season.

Allen was named to numerous college football award watch lists this past season, including the Davey O’Brien Award Watch List, Manning Award Watch List, Maxwell Award Watch List and Walter Camp Award Watch List.  Allen was invited to and attended the Manning Passing Academy in the summer of 2017.

In his two seasons as Wyoming’s starting quarterback, Allen accounted for 5,833 yards of total offense and was responsible for 57 touchdowns passing, rushing and receiving.  He ended his Wyoming career with 5,066 passing yards and 44 TD passes.  He also rushed for 767 yards during his college career and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.