Josh Allen | FINAL EXAM With Steve Fairchild

Football lifer Steve Fairchild has been involved in coaching for over the past 35 years, as head coach of Colorado State (2008-2011), Virginia offensive coordinator (2013-2015), San Diego Chargers Senior Offensive Assistant (2012), Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator (2006-2007), St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator (2003-2005), Buffalo Bills running back coach (2001-2002) and numerous other coaching positions, which began during his time at San Diego Mesa Community College as offensive coordinator in 1982. Along the way, he has coached high-profile quarterbacks such as Marc Bulger, JP Losman and Dan McGwire. This season, Fairchild returns for a second stint in The Spring League, featuring Johnny Manziel, where he’ll be serving as head coach/offensive coordinator. Over the years, coach Fairchild has developed his own in-depth grading system which entails 15 different categories that projects how successful a quarterback prospect will be when transitioning from college to the pros. Each category is given a score from 1-10 based on film study of five-to-six games, with ten being the highest score (exceptional/elite) and one being the lowest (poor/inadequate). Coach Fairchild has agreed to put the top quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft through his ‘FINAL EXAM’ in an exclusive NFL Draft Bible series, which includes an overall grade (maximum of 150) and projection for each top signal-caller. This is the sixth and final part of a six-part series, featuring the top signal-callers in the 2018 NFL Draft. The top rated quarterback prospect, according to Fairchild, is Josh Allen of Wyoming.



School: Wyoming | Hometown: Firebaugh, CA | Number: 17 | Height: 6050 | Weight: 237 | Hand: 1018 | Arm: 3314 | Forty: 4.75 | Vertical: 33.5” | Broad: 9-9 | Shuttle: 4.40 | L-Drill: 6.90 | All-Star: Senior Bowl | Combine: Yes | Twitter: @JoshAllenQB


 Known more for his work on the family farm, Josh Allen wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of high school and began his collegiate career at Reedley College. He would eventually transfer to Wyoming, where he would suffer a broken collarbone during his first season for the Cowboys in 2015. He would finish his Wyoming career playing 27 games (26 starts) and passing for 5,066yards, 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, in addition to 767 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. However, his 56.2 completion percentage has been a hot topic for debate leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft.


Size & Athletic Ability

Allen possesses prototypical NFL size at 6-5 and 237 pounds. He’s also demonstrates excellent athleticism to go along with great size. He shows the stature and strength to operate in the pocket, plays strong and will break tackles. Allen has the speed and athleticism to make plays outside the pocket, which is a rare mix of size and athletic ability at the quarterback position. GRADE: 9.0

Statistics & Production

Only a two-year player at Wyoming, Allen hasn’t played a lot of snaps at the college level. His career pass percentage of under 60% was more a reflection of players around him and not due to lack of accuracy. He was asked to be a ball carrier in the Wyoming offensive scheme and had over 700 yards rushing in two seasons with 12 TDs. GRADE: 7.0

Arm Ability & Throwing Mechanics

Allen has elite arm strength. He can put great velocity on the ball and does so with an effortless throwing motion. His release is quick and he can make throws without using his lower body. In addition, he can throw off a variety of platforms—his feet match his eyes and he can get aligned multiple times if necessary. At times, he can be a long strider in the pocket but only appears to do this when there is room. He can make every throw necessary to play quarterback in the NFL and he can do all these throws with defenders around him and with limited space in the pocket. GRADE: 9.0


He shows the ability to play under center and in shotgun. His drop mechanics are smooth and balanced, as he does not over extend despite his height. Allen has a very compact and efficient drop for being 6-5. He does an excellent job of opening his hips up when dropping from under center and seeing the entire field. He sets up with a balanced and aligned throwing position. GRADE: 8.0

Quick Game Performance/Accuracy (Three-Step)

Allen can get the ball out of his hands fast and shows the ability to throw the quick game concepts both from the shotgun and under center. He can work a progression with these types of patterns. This wasn’t a big part of the Wyoming offensive scheme, as they were pushing their pass game down the field a majority of the time. GRADE: 8.0

Quick Game Performance/Accuracy (Five-Step)

He’s a tremendous medium range thrower, who throws the five-step game both outside the numbers with his big arm and anticipates windows when he works the middle of the field.  Allen can make the timing drops and throw with no hitch both from under center and in the gun. He had to make a number of throws into tight spots as there was not a lot separation with his receivers. GRADE: 8.5

Intermediate Throw Performance/Accuracy (Seven-Step)

His elite arm, along with a quick release, allows this to be a strength for Allen as a quarterback. He shows the stature and toughness to stand in the pocket and let these patterns develop and can make these types of throws after having to negotiate a launch point. He can push the ball down the field with very limited space in the pocket. Allen is very NFL ready with this part of his game. GRADE: 8.5

Deep Ball Performance/Accuracy (35+ Yards)

Allen is an exceptional deep ball thrower. He has great accuracy throwing the ball 35-plus yards down the field. He’s equally adept outside the numbers with go routes and in the middle of the field with deep post and over routes. He’s also very aware of safeties when making these throws. Allen has the ability, because of elite arm strength, to hold the ball slightly longer than most other quarterbacks in order to see the wide outs departure and still get the ball down the field on time. GRADE: 8.5


He sees the field well, especially with defenders around him. Allen will keep his eyes downfield and rely on his quick release to stay with a pattern. He’ll process and stay with a play, even though he knows he is going to get hit. He shows the ability to throw timing routes both from the gun and under center, he was very good with five-step no hitch and shotgun three-step no hitch drops. Allen throws with anticipation and accurate ball placement, as he was not always presented with open targets. GRADE: 8.0

Designed Movement Throws

Allen threw the ball on the run very accurately to a lot of different areas on the field. Most of these types were not designed but rather him creating plays as he exited the pocket.  He did this a majority to his right side but did demonstrate he can move left and throw. Allen handled designed sprint out and run action plays, which got him on the move outside the tackle box. He was very accurate moving in both directions.  His speed and athletic ability make this a strength of his. GRADE: 8.5

Pocket Demeanor & Movement

He possesses very good pocket presence. Allen continues to process the play with defenders challenging his launch point. He has the size and stature to operate in the pocket, is tough and will make a throw knowing he is going to take a hit. At times, he’s quick to exit to his right. His ability to extend and create plays gives him the confidence to do so. Not having a lot of separation with his down the field targets, as well as poor pass protection at times added to this quick exit. He’s a very accurate thrower on the move and can make throws to every area on the field. Allen shows confidence in his size, quick delivery and toughness, this will translate well to the NFL. GRADE: 8.5

Unique Throws

Allen shows the ability to put touch on throws but is better suited to throwing the football with velocity into tight windows and deep down the field. Accuracy did at times become an issue when he was forced to make touch throws and short check downs.  Ball placement could have been better on a number of short bubble/screen type throws.  He did throw a wide variety of receiver and backfield screens as well as wide out smoke routes. GRADE: 7.5

Poise & Performance In Critical Situations

He hasn’t played a lot of snaps with just two years of Division-1 starting experience. There is evidence that he plays smart situational football and has poise to lead an offense. He played well when teams pressured him, plus he has shown that he is capable of operating at the line of scrimmage in two-minute and no huddle situations. He shows he can communicate at the line with his fellow offensive players. He has a quick delivery and accuracy to be a good red zone quarterback but he did have the tendency to force the ball in third down situations. He certainly possesses all the physical tools but could use more experience and thus will have some learning in these areas as he transitions from college to NFL. GRADE: 7.5


Allen has the mind set he can make every throw. He’s aggressive with trying to throw receivers open and fitting the ball into tight windows. He had to do these things because he was not throwing to wide open receivers most of the time. He also showed patience and awareness in most situations to check the ball down. At times, he would be too aggressive with the ball and force it into coverage—particularly on third down. GRADE: 7.5

Ability To Scramble/Extend Plays

He moves extremely well for his size and did a great job of scrambling out of the pocket at Wyoming when his protection broke down or he could not find a receiver that had separated. He escapes mostly to his right but can move to his left to extend plays. He throws well on the move and because of his unique arm strength he is a threat to throw the ball just about anywhere on the field when he leaves the pocket. GRADE: 8.0


Allen is an elite talent when it comes to quarterbacks.  He has NFL size, as well as very good athletic ability. He plays the game of football with toughness. He will have to learn to slide at the next level. Allen has a big arm with a quick release. These abilities make defenses have to defend the entire field as he can quickly and effortlessly throw the ball anywhere. He can stand in the pocket and continue to process with defenders around him, in addition to being able to escape and create when necessary. His speed is good, as is his ability to throw accurately on the run. Allen is a quarterback that doesn’t have a lot of experience and may have a learning curve when making the jump to the NFL in terms of scheme and situational football. His talent is undeniable and he should be top pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft and the first or second quarterback off the board. OVERALL GRADE: 122