Allen has one of the strongest arms in this draft among quarterbacks, and he performed very well at the Combine. Allen launched a perfect, 70-plus yard ball during one of his throwing workouts that drew a lot of praise from scouts and analysts alike. While strong armed quarterbacks haven’t always succeeded at the NFL level, see Jamarcus Russell and Jake Locker, it’s still a big tool that not many have.
Allen definitely has some work to do as a passer. He isn’t very accurate and doesn’t fully understand how to utilize his cannon of an arm. As a prospect, he really is reminiscent of Locker. A guy with a great arm and athleticism, but one who hasn’t put it all together.
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At the NFL level, arm strength only matters if a quarterback can throw with some semblance of accuracy. Allen has only completed 56 percent of his passes in each of his two years as a starter, and that won’t cut it at the NFL level. Allen has to work on this ability moving forward, or he will have a lot of trouble being anything more than an inconsistent passer with a great arm.
That said, Allen would be given a chance to succeed in Cleveland. With a receiving corps of Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and tight end David Njoku, the team will have a lot of quality pass catcher with athletic ability to help Allen. If he can improve his accuracy and anticipation, he will pan out.
Taking Allen at No. 1 is a risky proposition. I think there are three quarterbacks better than him, but he has a very high ceiling. So, the Browns can take him here in hopes of developing him and he could become a franchise quarterback. Still, he’s probably the riskiest of the top five quarterbacks in terms of living up to his immense potential.