Even with his solid rookie stats, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end did not receive the recognition he deserved and was an unsung hero for the team.
It’s hard to think of Jaguars rookie Josh Allen being hailed as an unsung hero this past season, but NFL.com analyst Adam Rank may have a point when talking about the season the pass rusher had. It’s even more acceptable to think about the former first-round draft pick’s accomplishments this past season when you realize many of the national media didn’t give Allen the respect he deserved when talking about the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, going with Nick Bosa in San Francisco, instead.
Allen figures to be the mainstay of the Jaguars defense for years to come and if his 10.5 sacks in his rookie season are any indication of the career he is going to have, then the Jaguars front office got the steal of the 2019 NFL Draft – and it isn’t even close.
I jokingly told my father the other day that the team landing Allen with the seventh pick in the Draft was payback for 2011 when Jacksonville – in the Gene Smith days of this organization – traded from 16th to 10th in the first round to grab Blaine Gabbert when J.J. Watt was taken one pick behind him.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars unlikely to pursue Carson Wentz despite Doug Pederson connection
- Jaguars RB Travis Etienne expected to have bigger impact in 2023
- 5 bonafide stars from the Jacksonville Jaguars 2022 season
- Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t heard any Calvin Ridley news from the NFL
- WR Marvin Jones Jr. will give 110 percent with the Jacksonville Jaguars or wherever he plays in 2023
Allen’s rookie season is a good way to erase that kind of nightmare in Jaguars history.
"“While everyone went as Gardner Minshew for Halloween (and it was a fine choice), Allen was clearly the best rookie in Jacksonville,” Rank writes. “In fact, the Jaguars’ official Twitter account was upset that Minshew wasn’t a finalist for the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, but Allen was likely the biggest snub. Allen had 10.5 sacks (more than Nick Bosa), 11 tackles for loss and 22 quarterback hurries. He also forced two fumbles for good measure.”"
It’s true both players should have been on the final ballot. Allen’s sack total was a rookie record in Jacksonville that was held for three seasons by fellow sack artist Yannick Ngakoue.
By the way, if any of the members of the front office are reading this – PAY YAN!
Allen was named to the All-Rookie team by Pro Football Focus with right tackle Jawaan Taylor. It should be the sign of more post-season accolades in his future. The Jaguars know they got a late Christmas present last year when both the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants passed on potentially the best pass rusher in the Draft.
That’s something to build on. Allen will continue to grow into the focal point of the team’s defense. The national media will take more notice. And hopefully, more analysts other than Rank will rave about the budding star.