According to a report from ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the New York Jets have shown significant interest in drafting Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen in the 2019 NFL Draft.
After failing to secure an edge rusher in free agency, the New York Jets will undoubtedly be looking to address the position in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. One of the most frequent names that has been tied to the team over the past few months has been Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen.
Based on a recent report from Rich Cimini of ESPN, the speculation from around the league is that the Jets will be heavily targeting the talented edge rusher in this year’s draft. This comes as no surprise as he would fill a direct need for the Jets and should, in all likelihood, be available with the Jets first-round selection.
Allen began to emerge as a serious NFL candidate after his junior season but decided to return for his senior year despite being considered a firm Day 2 selection. The 2018 Chuck Bednarik Award recipient would prove that it was the right decision with a breakout 2018 campaign that saw him total 17.0 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.
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Apart from the aforementioned Bednarik Award, Allen was awarded the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, the Lott Trophy, and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Allen was one of the key players behind a surprising season for Kentucky that saw the regular SEC bottom-feeder post their first 10-win season in 41 years.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound outside linebacker is considered to be one of the top players in this year’s draft class and will likely hear his name called in the top five picks. After consensus top prospect Nick Bosa, Allen is considered the top edge rusher in the draft and it’s easy to see why.
Allen brings versatility as both an excellent pass rusher and solid run defender. He also brings value in pass coverage as he was asked to drop back into coverage quite a bit at Kentucky. That positional flexibility would make him an ideal fit as a weak-side edge rusher in the Jets 3-4 defense as he would be asked to do a variety of things.
The Jets will return Jordan Jenkins who will likely assume his role as the team’s starting edge defender on the strong side but his edge partner is non-existent at the moment. Undrafted rookie Frankie Luvu is the only other edge rusher on the Jets roster who received any significant playing time in 2018 but it would be unwise to count on him in a starting role in 2019.
Drafting Allen would give the team perhaps its most talented edge rusher since the days of John Abraham and if reports are to be believed, the Jets are very interested in making the pairing happen.
We still have over a month until the 2019 NFL Draft rolls around, but the speculation around the league appears to be connecting the Jets with the SEC standout Allen.