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Once a Two-Star Recruit, Kentucky Edge Josh Allen Could Be In Play for the Jets at No. 3

Versatile Defender Believes He is the Top Player in This Year’s Class

Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

If you believe in foreshadowing, perhaps Josh Allen is destined to become a Jet. Allen wore workout No. 3 at the NFL Combine and the Green & White own the third overall selection in April's draft. A New Jersey native, Allen attended Montclair HS, which is situated approximately 30 minutes to the west of the Jets' Atlantic Health Training Center. And finally, the Jets could use some pass-rushing help and Allen is one of the top EDGE prospects in this entire draft class.

"It would be pretty cool," said Allen of playing for either the Jets or the Giants.

New York's NFC representative has the sixth pick and many feel Allen will be off the board before the G-Men make their selection. But if the Jets keep their pick and the Cardinals and 49ers go Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray and Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa respectively, then they would figure to take a long look at Allen.

"I think I'm the best player in this draft," Allen told reporters at the NFL Combine. "I feel like every guy here should believe that, but I believe that. If a team doesn't believe that, then I'll see them during the season."

A team captain at Kentucky in 2018, Allen racked up 17 quarterback sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in addition to five forced fumbles, four pass defenses and two fumble recoveries. The 17 sacks by the consensus First-Team All-American were the most by an SEC player in a single season since the NCAA started official sack records in 2000.

"What an athlete," said NFL Network's Charles Davis of Allen. "A relentless competitor on the field and he's one of those guys that the motor never turns off."

Always available for the Wildcats, Allen didn't miss a collegiate game while making 35 starts in 51 contests. His 31.5 career sacks and 11 forced fumbles established and tied school records respectively, and his 41 tackles for loss ranks second. The Jets intend to keep their base a 3-4 under coordinator Greg Williams, but Williams is renown for employing multiple looks.

"I think I can fit in any organization, a 4-3 or 3-4," Allen said. "Just hearing the GMs, the head coaches and the defensive coordinators talk, they have my position at every defense. I believe I can just fit in right away and be the player they want me to be."

When a reporter followed-up and asked Allen what his position was, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year smiled and said, 'defensive player.' The 6'5", 252-pounder believes his versatility sets him apart as he is confident getting after quarterbacks and dropping into coverage as well.

"I'll do whatever it takes. If a team wants me to drop, I'll drop," he said. "If a team wants me to rush, I'll rush. If a team wants me to half, I'll do whatever it takes."

Best Images of the Linebackers and Edge Rushers Workout at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine

Allen, who posted 28 reps of 225 pounds and had a 4.63-second run in the 40-yard dash, had a solid performance in on-field drills. During his media availability, he was asked to compare his game to EDGE performers in the NFL.

"Khalil Mack and Von Miller. I believe those two are the best at the positions and I feel like I'm the best, so I might as well compare myself to the best," he said. "I feel like my game symbolizes both of theirs."

Once unheralded out of Montclair, Allen wasn't even ranked by a number of recruiting services when he committed to Kentucky. After playing his first three years of high school in Alabama, Allen registered 22.5 sacks in his lone season of New Jersey HS ball and then went on to become of the greatest defenders to ever suit up for the Wildcats. Overlooked no more, Allen is now being driven by his 1-year-old son Wesley.

"I carried that two-star chip with me for a very long time, to now. I just worked extremely hard," he said. "The birth of my son really hit home for me. He was my biggest motivation."

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