Being a rookie in the NFL is never easy. However, if you are rookie that is surrounded by Pro Bowl talent, well, maybe it’s not so bad, which is the case for Jaguars rookie DE/LB Josh Allen. The 22-year-old, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is fortunate enough to have a lot of great players to learn from in Jacksonville.
He has four-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell.
“I mean, ‘it’s Calais Campbell. You all have seen his work, ‘you’ve seen what ‘he’s been doing for the last 10-plus years,” Allen said on Thursday. “So, having a guy like that, that wants to teach me, that needs me, ‘I’m going to listen to anything he tells me to do. And what ‘he’s telling me to do, I can do it, so when I do it, ‘he’s making a play and ‘I’m making a play, ‘we’re going to be an unstoppable duo.”
Allen also has the pleasure of playing with two-time Pro Bowler DT Marcell Dareus and DE Yannick Ngakoue, so essentially, Allen has a lot of resources.
“I have two All-Pros with me [Marcell Dareus and Calais Campbell]. I have Abry Jones, and I have Calais with me,” Allen said. “They are teaching me so much about the game. I know when [Yannick] comes back, my game is going to get so much better. Right now, we are just focused on winning, and I know when he comes back, we are going to have a good tandem going on.”
Allen, who was a 2018 All-American last season, and also the 2018 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, knew how to get after the quarterback at Kentucky; Allen had 17 sacks last season, which were the most by an SEC player in a single season since the NCAA started official sack records in 2000, and he finished his four-year career at Kentucky with 31.5 sacks.
Allen is going to have growing pains, but with the talent he has around him, the transition may not be all that bad.