Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 3
2020 stats: 16 games | 69.2 pct | 4,544 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 37 pass TD | 10 INT | 421 rush yds | 8 rush TD | 6 fumbles lost
Next game: vs. Baltimore Ravens | Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC, Universo)
Blair: There is probably only one quarterback on this list (or currently in our universe) who I’d want for ANY situation, and Allen isn’t that person at this point. But that’s OK. Because I’m not dropping him into an existing system or surrounding him with a talent-poor roster. I’m building AROUND him — which means I can just copy what the Bills did.
Unlike the QBs from Allen’s class who have struggled (or the vast majority of discarded young QBs, for that matter), Allen has played for the same head coach (Sean McDermott) and offensive coordinator (Brian Daboll), with the same general manager (Brandon Beane) running the front office, for all three years of his career. Allen’s had time to grow and learn, while the McDermott-Daboll-Beane triad has had time to implement a plan to magnify Allen’s strengths and minimize his weaknesses. This increases my confidence that Allen’s 2020 breakout is not an out-of-nowhere surprise but rather a true blossoming, the best-case scenario for developing a highly drafted quarterback in an era when it’s practically impossible to let someone learn on the bench. Consider how Allen’s steady year-to-year improvement has tracked with the increasing quality of his top receiving target each season (per Next Gen Stats):
2018: Zay Jones, 67 targets; 74.5 passer rating when targeting Jones
2019: John Brown, 110 targets; 103.7 passer rating when targeting Brown
2020: Stefon Diggs, 166 targets; 115.4 passer rating when targeting Diggs
The Bills are clearly giving him what he needs to thrive, in both supporting talent and coaching. There’s still a bit of chaotic energy to Allen’s game that might always make him a bit turnover-prone, but sign me up for three more seasons of a burgeoning dynamo who can burn you with his legs and his arm.