Close your eyes and imagine you having the choice of two options.
The first option is to go to a rather dysfunctional franchise with a young quarterback, a mediocre defense, and other superior teams in their division.
The second option is to go to a team with a Super Bowl winning MVP, a top-tier defense, and have a significant chance at winning the division. While the second option is clearly more enticing, it comes with the catch of being paid a slightly less salary each season.
Would you still take the more suitable franchise, or want the higher salary and have a probable chance of playing fora mediocre team?
While Kentucky star edge rusher Josh Allen didn’t have a say in where he was drafted in the NFL draft, his “slip” out of the top-three to No. 7 may be the best-case scenario.
Allen will join a franchise that is just one year removed from finishing runner-up in the AFC Championship game and a late fourth quarter comeback away from appearing in the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, their starting quarterback is the Super Bowl MVP from that year and also worked similar magic down the stretch of last season.
Like his defense at Kentucky, Allen’s unit in the pros will boast one of the league’s best cornerback tandems. ‘Twas Derrick Baity and Lonnie Johnson at Kentucky and is currently A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville. Tight coverage down field aided a 17-sack season for Allen as a senior, and a similar formula should work the same way in “Sacksonville.”
The former Wildcats’ success in the SEC can’t be overstated, especially given the circumstance that Allen was constantly double-teamed and (respectfully) didn’t have the same caliber of players alongside him in the defensive line.
Allen will join an organization ran by two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars’ executive who is ecstatic to add Allen to an already talented defense. While the unit did lose Malik Jackson to Philadelphia in the offseason, the Jaguars managed to retain Bouye, Calais Campbell, Marcell Dareus, Myles Jack, Ramsey, Telvin Smith and Yannick Ngakoue.
Almost every draft pick inside the top 10 of any draft is expected to come in as a rookie and immediately produce. Allen will have that exact opportunity and should have a more comfortable road than most, considering the culture and talent surrounding him.
Following Kentucky’s Citrus Bowl victory, Allen assured viewers he was the best player in this year’s draft. While his selection was six slots behind the top spot, landing in Jacksonville may just be what the doctor ordered for Josh Allen and his career in professional football.