ESPN ranks Josh Allen in Top 10 in 10 of 12 quarterback categories
Bills QB Josh Allen was ranked in 10 of the 12 categories in ESPN's top 10 NFL quarterbacks in specific traits and abilities, and how they compare in each skill area compared to the other top signal-callers in the league.
11 NFL analysts ranked their personal top 10 NFL quarterbacks heading into the 2022 season in 12 distinct categories of the quarterback's game. From there, ESPN analysts combined these lists to produce a final ranking in each area and here is how Allen ranked in these categories:
1. Josh Allen
"Josh Allen's arm strength entered the realm of legendary when he aired it out during his pre-draft pro day back in 2018, and it continues to impress," said Field Yates, an ESPN NFL analyst. "He has an effortless nature to his throws down the field that is combined with strong accuracy. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, he completed 11.3% more of his passes thrown at least 25 yards downfield than expected last season, the league's sixth-highest rate."
3. Josh Allen
"I'm looking at Josh Allen's tape from the AFC Championship Game last season here," NFL analyst Matt Bowen said. "Even in a loss to the Chiefs, it was a defining game for the Bills quarterback. He made plays both as a thrower and a runner that highlighted his physical traits in the game's key moments."
1. Josh Allen
"Josh Allen has averaged more than 100 rushing attempts per season through the first four years of his career, and while he has undoubtedly taken some licks, it feels he is more often the one delivering the bigger blow in a collision," Yates said. "At 6-5 and 237 pounds, he looks like an outside linebacker who got lost and wandered into the center of the offensive huddle."
2. Josh Allen
"Other quarterbacks have scrambled at a higher rate, but no QB had more expected points added via scrambles last season than Josh Allen," NFL analyst Seth Walder said. "And even if we extend the window back to the past two years, Allen still is No. 1."
Allen was also ranked No. 7 in mechanics, No. 6 in field vision, No. 8 in decision-making with the football, No. 5 in pocket presence, No. 2 in designed-run ability, and No. 2 in second-reaction ability.
While Allen wasn't ranked in the accuracy category, NFL analyst Jordan Reid listed Allen as a 'riser to watch'.
"He has four NFL seasons under his belt and is considered one of the best in the game, but Josh Allen is the easy selection here as a riser," Reid said. "Why? He has made exponential growth in his accuracy from the pocket in every season. Expect Allen to take another major leap here in 2022, similar to the one he made during the 2020 season."
Bills' defense at No. 2 in NFL.com's top nine defenses
Adam Schein, NFL.com Contributing columnist, ranked the top nine defenses in the NFL heading into the 2022 season and the Bills came in at No. 2. Schein credits individual players on the team's defense, including a new face who hasn't even played in his first game as a Bill yet, who contribute to the overall on-field performance.
"The addition of Von Miller to the No. 1 defense (in terms of yards allowed) in 2021 was perfect," Schein said. "Miller might be 33, but he still has a ton of gas left in the tank as a pass rusher, judging by his otherworldly playoff performance with the Rams last season (four sacks in four games). I remain enamored with the talent up front; former first-rounder Gregory Rousseau is coming of a four-sack debut season, while Ed Oliver put up a career-best 10 tackles for loss and 14 QB hits in '21. Miller brings it all together -- the two-time Super Bowl champ will show the Bills the way."
"I love coordinator Leslie Frazier's ability to coach up this unit," Schein added. "First-round pick Kaiir Elam was a great addition to a secondary that also features veteran stalwarts Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde at safety. Whenever two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Tre'Davious White, who went down with a torn ACL in November, makes his way back onto the field, it will be, well, everything for this defense."