Kentucky’s versatile defensive weapon is sticking to one position in his first NFL season.
Josh Allen was college football’s unanimous defensive player of the year in 2019 after recording 21.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks and five forced fumbles. Feared by opponents for his pass-rushing prowess, his ability to drop back into coverage made him undeniably the best defender in the country. He won’t be doing much of that in Jacksonville.
“Josh Allen was drafted to be a defensive end,” defensive coordinator Todd Wash said this week.
Shortly after Allen was drafted, starting linebacker Telvin Smith announced he was stepping away from football for a year. Many Jaguar fans hoped Allen could potentially fill that void. Head coach Doug Marrone initially left the door open for a move down the road, until Wash slammed it shut.
“He did a real nice job of dropping in college,” Wash said, adding “I can’t honestly say being a [former] D-Line [defensive line coach] that I don’t get too excited about a 15-sack guy dropping into coverage.
“Hopefully, you won’t see too damned much of that.”
Instead of dropping back as a 3/4 outside linebacker, he’ll rush the passer as a 4/3 defensive end. Allen’s assignments will be simpler as a defensive end. He just has to get used to exploding out of a three-point stance. I have a feeling he’ll master that craft well ahead of his rookie debut.
Allen was sidelined from the voluntary workouts last week with a knee contusion, but he was not included in the latest injury report from the Jaguars.