The Jacksonville Jaguars snapped up edge defender Josh Allen out of the University of Kentucky with the No. 7 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday evening. Most expected Allen to be long gone by the time the Jaguars picked, but as luck would have it thanks to the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants making some wild picks, he fell right in their lap.
The addition of Allen has seen some Jaguars fans wondering what kind of role he will fill in the Jaguars 4-3 defensive front, which general manager David Caldwell addressed on Thursday night, but it doesn’t sound like Allen really cares what kind of defensive front he’s playing in.
“They get after the quarterback. That’s all I need to hear. I went there on my visit and they said, ‘Josh, we get after the quarterback.’ That was all I had to hear,” Allen said in a conference call after he was selected when asked about how he fits into the Jaguars defensive front. “I don’t care about the defense. They can run a 5-12 … I love getting after the quarterback.”
Allen looks to be a chess piece as a rookie that Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash can move around or insert into certain formations and fronts on passing downs, especially since Allen is comfortable rushing the passer from a two-point stance and playing standing up just as much as he is in a three-point stance.
One thing we will see is Allen and Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue on the field at the same time getting after the quarterback and that’s something Allen is excited about.
“We are young. We can grow together. We have veterans in the inside, young guys in the back-end, plus veterans and me and him. I will try to learn from him because he has had a lot of success in the NFL. I’m trying to pick his brain,” Allen said on the call about playing with Ngakoue. “I feel like we can help each other out. He brings stuff to the game when they are blocking him, that frees me. When they are blocking me, he can just be free. I feel like me and him can work hand-in-hand together and we can make a lot of plays and make something special in Jacksonville.”
“I have never met him. I have been following him on Instagram,” Allen continued on his new Jaguars teammate Ngakoue. “I am a huge fan of him. I have been watching him ever since Maryland. I’m a big fan, but now I am about to be a big teammate to him.”
While many wanted an offensive player with the Jaguars first round pick, like Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson who went one pick after or Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor who is still available, but adding another pass rusher to fill the void left by Malik Jackson and Dante Fowler was just as important.