We have seen this before.
In 2014, an edge rusher who entered the draft as a senior after putting up gaudy numbers at the college level was drafted fifth. Picked before him were:
- An oft-injured, yet effective edge rusher
- An offensive tackle who was recently traded for a 6th rounder
- A presumed franchise quarterback who may be looking for a new job this offseason
- A wide receiver who has less than 600 yards in three of his five seasons
If you don’t already know, that edge rusher was Khalil Mack and he is arguably the best defensive player in football, if not the best player on either side of the ball.
In other words, the fifth pick should have been the first in 2014.
In 2019, the same can be said for Kentucky linebacker, Josh Allen. Media outlets are not making the same mistake as they did with Mack as he has much more coverage and hype behind him, but there are still those who are uncertain about Allen’s value among other defensive players. He has been projected in the top five, but he is consistently listed behind Nick Bosa from Ohio State. Which is good because…
The Green Bay Packers need to trade up to draft Josh Allen.
If you listened to the Lambeau Lead (if you haven’t, here’s your invitation), we detailed how the 2019 NFL Draft is projected to be full of defensive talent and, specifically, edge talent. However, based on my observation, Josh Allen could be the “next” Khalil Mack, but…
My prediction: He will be BETTER than Khalil Mack
It is not often that a defensive player can change the course of an entire program, but Allen did just that. When he played for Mark Stoops at Kentucky as a freshman, the team ended 5-7. Allen only saw the field in three games that season, but he became a fixture in the defense in his sophomore season. As he improved, the team followed suit. He played every game for the next three years and the Wildcats improved to 7-6 in 2016 and 2017 and finished 10-3 while winning the Citrus Bowl in 2018.
At 6’5”, 260 pounds, Allen is an archetype of what an NFL general manager would create on Madden. Paired up with his preferable size, he has world class talent. Allen finished with 31.5 career sacks with 17 coming in 2018 followed up with 21.5 tackles for loss in that season alone. He added six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as well. These numbers stood out enough to secure some hardware for his trophy case as he was a consensus All-American, Bronco Nagurski Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, and Ronnie Lott Award winner, along with SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Those stats are all well and good, but the question is, why should the Packers trade up? If this is supposed to be a deep draft defensively, why not scoop up a guy like Montez Sweat, Clelin Ferrell, Rashaan Gary, or even Ed Oliver depending on who falls to them?
That would not be a bad idea at all. There seems to be a lot of quality in the draft, but generational talent is not something to miss on, and also not a word to be thrown around often. That being said, Josh Allen is quite possibly a generational talent. We are blessed as football fans to see Khalil Mack single handedly put the Bears in the playoffs, but cursed as Packer supporters for the same reason. The Packers need to go get their “Khalil Mack” and Josh Allen would be a great foundational pickup for a young defense who seemed to find some semblance of direction in the 2018-19 season with a number of stumbles along the way.
Josh Allen would stabilize the course on the defensive end by providing consistent pressure on the quarterback whether it is him, Kyler Fackrell, or the interior defensive line. Fackrell had a career year and would only improve with an imposing force on the other side paired up with Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels on the inside drawing attention. In other words, someone will be getting into the pocket which is a problem the Packers have struggled with for a few seasons. With Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Tramon Williams, and whoever else the Packers bring in, the passes defended and interception numbers would see a steady increase as the pressure mounts on quarterbacks. More turnovers means more possessions for Aaron Rodgers and more possessions equate to more opportunities to score.
Green Bay, go get Josh Allen.