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Nov 16, 2018
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Firebaugh native and Reedley College standout, Josh Allen is predicted to be a first pick in the 2018 NFl Draft. (Wikimedia Commons)

Will Central-Valley native Josh Allen be the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft?

The 2018 NFL Draft is less than two days away, and the spotlight shines on the Central Valley.

Former Firebaugh and Reedley College standout Josh Allen has polarized the football world. Whether it’s his massive frame, 6 feet 5 inches or his mass, 240 pounds, the Valley native looks like an NFL quarterback. But, will that translate onto the field?

This time of year, ESPN pundits and alike come out with predictions. Who’s going where, which player is worth the pick and so on.

The quarterback position is strong this year. The Los Angeles prospects – Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Sam Darnold (USC) and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma.

There is some consensus among draft analysts. Darnold and Allen seem to be favored for the first pick. However, Allen is considered to be a dangerous pick. Or a “bust” like some people say.

Analysts cite Allen’s accuracy in college as one of his main deficiencies, although his potential is considered to be one of the highest.

In two years as a starter at Wyoming, Allen completed 56 percent of his passes – a major red flag, but, something that can be improved upon.

Allen comes into the league with all the physical traits to be successful, but the mental and technical areas are where his potential lies.

Can you fix a quarterback’s accuracy issues after he enters the league?

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford says yes.

Stafford entered the league as the No. 1 pick even though he completed only 57 percent of his passes. Stafford had the physical makeup and the work ethic, All he needed was a chance to prove himself.

Allen is very similar to Stafford in that sense.

Allen needs time to develop. His best-case scenario would be a team that already has a quarterback. Given the proper time and tutelage, Allen could become a force.

Stafford isn’t the only quarterback Allen resembles. Jay Cutler from the Miami Dolphins and of Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Carson Wentz are others.

I expect Allen to go No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns. He will be able to sit behind Tyrod Taylor for a year, maybe less, and work on his craft.

While Allen sets the headlines, some Bulldogs are focused on their dreams as well.

Back in March, Fresno State held its official NFL Pro Day. Thirteen Fresno State players showcased their skills in front of 14 NFL scouts.

The New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams were just a few of the teams represented at Bulldog Stadium.

Some of the Bulldogs taking part played big roles in the 10-win 2017 season.

Kicker Jimmy Camacho, former captain Aaron Mitchell and defensive lineman Robert Stanley highlighted a talented group.

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