Braelon Allen could make NY Jets history with his first NFL snap

Braelon Allen will likely make history this year
Braelon Allen
Braelon Allen / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY

The NY Jets have high expectations for rookie running back Braelon Allen, both in his first NFL season and the foreseeable future. The team believes Allen has plenty of untapped potential, and it's easy to see why.

Allen has had a unique journey to the NFL and enters his rookie season as the youngest player in the league. Not only was Allen the youngest player in the 2024 NFL Draft class, but he has a chance to make history this season.

If Allen appears in even one regular-season game for the Jets in 2024, he will become the first 20-year-old in franchise history to make an appearance. Yes, that means Allen will likely be the youngest player in Jets history.

The Wisconsin product doesn't turn 21 years old until January of next year. 2023 draft pick Israel Abanikanda had a chance to be the first 20-year-old to appear in a game for the Jets last year, but he didn't make his debut until Week 11 — about a month after his 21st birthday.

Now, the player being brought in to essentially steal his role should likely achieve what Abanikanda couldn't a year ago.

Braelon Allen should be the youngest player in NY Jets history

The reason for Allen's young age dates back to his junior year of high school in 2020. That fall season was delayed until the spring of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the extra downtime, Allen decided to spend the fall taking extra classes.

Allen essentially completed his junior and senior years of high school in one year, allowing him to formally commit to Wisconsin at the age of just 16, a month before his 17th birthday.

In fact, Allen would go on to rush for over 1,000 yards as a high school senior in the spring of 2021 before arriving at Wisconsin that fall, earning the starting running back job and rushing for a Big Ten-leading 1,268 yards — all at just 17 years old.

It's Allen's impressive production at just a young age that made him one of the most intriguing running back prospects in this year's draft. The Jets clearly believe in his potential to be an early contributor.

The Wisconsin native is seen as the favorite to earn the RB2 job behind Breece Hall this summer. He will be competing with the likes of Abanikanda and fellow rookie Isaiah Davis for snaps behind the Jets' top running back.

And as long as he appears in at least one game next season, he will make history. Braelon Allen is very likely to become the youngest player to ever take the field for the Jets.