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Wyoming’s Josh Allen impresses at pro day with improved consistency to go along with rocket arm

 

Josh Allen hasn’t conceded anything.

He even put a halt — at least temporarily — to the growing assumption that USC quarterback Sam Darnold will be the Browns’ choice with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Allen, the Wyoming quarterback who looks like he was built in a laboratory and has the rocket right arm to match, put on a display Friday at his pro day in the indoor facility in Laramie.

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The Browns were there to witness it, starting with owner Jimmy Haslam. He also watched Darnold’s pro day Wednesday in Los Angeles and has been in the meetings with the potential top picks as the organization searches for the answer to the decades-old quarterback question.

General manager John Dorsey, coach Hue Jackson and assistant GM Eliot Wolf were spotted on the field, and Jackson shook Allen’s hand and gave him a hug when the 60-throw session was over.

They saw a special arm.

“That had a flame coming out the back of it,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said of a deep ball. “If that football was a harpoon, that kid would be dead right now.”

Allen (6-foot-4 7/8, 237 pounds) showed off the arm with darts on deep comebacks and rainbows that stretched 80 yards.

“He might step into the league and have the strongest arm,” analyst Daniel Jeremiah added. “He is so effortless. Very easy.”

Playing quarterback isn’t all about who throws it the farthest or hardest. The ball must arrive at its target and on time, which are areas Allen struggled with in college.

“It’s no secret he can throw the ball through the carwash without it getting wet and can throw it out of the gym,” personal coach Jordan Palmer said. “But we really wanted to tempo the ball, control it.

“You throw the ball as hard as you can in a game four, five, six times. The majority of these throws are layered or thrown with touch. I know that he can do it, I wanted to be able to show that today and put him in a position to tempo the ball, and I thought he did a great job.”

He completed just 56.2 percent in two years as the starter at Wyoming and was plagued by some ugly misses. He and Palmer have concentrated on his footwork, believing that’s the reason for the inconsistency in his throwing.

Allen could finally exhale Friday.

“I really dove into how I was throwing the ball. My feet were really jacked up,” Allen said. “Anytime that I would miss, my feet were out of whack, they weren’t sequencing correctly. Jordan Palmer was helping me guide that, now I’ve fixed that and now I can kind of self-correct myself. We’ve been working on it a lot and I think we’re coming to good grips here.”

Allen missed high on a few throws and overthrew a few more but continued the progress that was obvious at the scouting combine.

“We came out and we did what we wanted to do, we showed what we had to. I thought it was a successful day,” he said on ESPN. “Delivered the ball where it needed to be on time. There were a few missed throws, wish I had those back but we’re moving on.”

Allen has also worked on throwing with more touch. He would get erratic when he tried to take some heat off the ball.

“It’s not as easy as pressing a different button,” Palmer said. “You physically have to be able to slow down your arm action but still create the same amount of energy with your lower body. He has that.”

Allen hasn’t thrown against a defense in months, so the improvement must be taken in context.

“He’s worked really hard on his footwork and his touch. The accuracy has followed. It looks really good,” Mayock said. “I think the one caveat I would offer, though, is that it’s great to get in habits in a pair of gym shorts, but when you’re under fire in an NFL game, how’s the footwork going to hold up?”

Darnold had a strong showing in the rain two days earlier and generated a lot of buzz that the Browns had locked in on him at No. 1. Palmer coaches him and Allen and isn’t taking sides.

“Physically one’s bigger, one’s got a stronger arm,” Palmer said of Allen. “Sam has anticipation like I haven’t seen.

“They’re both winners. The game’s on the line, they want the ball in their hands. All of those things I just said translate seamlessly into the NFL.”

Darnold’s more polished than Allen, despite being a year younger at 20. But it’s fair to wonder if Allen has more potential that could be realized a couple of years from now in the NFL.

Palmer raved about his character, leadership and intelligence.

“I think we’re going to get to a point with this player where his arm talent is the second or third thing we say about him and that’s special,” he said.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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