Seeing is Believing: Fairchild a Josh Allen Believer
Former Cowboys quarterback Josh Allen has a believer, and it is, of all people, Steve Fairchild, a former quarterback and head coach at Colorado State University, the chief rival of the Wyoming Cowboys.
Put the rivalry on hold.
Fairchild has an extensive track record at the college and professional level as a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, and this year evaluated the top quarterbacks for the NFL Draft Bible.
The Buffalo Bills traded up to get the seventh pick in the first round of the NFL draft earlier this month, and selected Allen. He was the third quarterback taken. Cleveland used the No. 1 pick on Baker Mayfield, and the New York Jets selected Sam Darnold No. 3 overall.
"He was the No. 1 quarterback in my mind," Fairchild said of Allen in an interview on One Bills Live. "I think it is a steal that the Buffalo Bills got him where they did."
Fairchild, a former offensive coordinator for the Bills, said the quarterback position creates more debate than any in pro football so he understands various opinions on Allen. He just doesn't buy into the doubts some have expressed.
"People view quarterbacks differently," he said. "Some want size. Some want to see arm strength. At the end of the day when you look at what translates from college to the NFL, you have to be able to operate in the pocket.
"That means you have to have size and have to be able to play with people around you. Of all the guys, Josh Allen has that skill set that is going to translate into the NFL."
Fairchild didn't buy into the concerns the naysayers expressed about Allen's 56 percent completion rate.
"I watched six or seven games of the top six quarterbacks coming out," he said. "Some people just look at stats and form opinions. What I saw was a very accurate thrower. He put it where he wanted to put it. He didn't have a lot of wide open guys and he was trying to put the ball down field in that 15-to-20 yard range a lot more than a lot of college quarterbacks do.
"He was throwing where he wanted to throw it. He didn't have the same situation of Baker Mayfield, where every time he dropped back the pocket was clean, guys were wide open. When you look at a quarterback you better take a lot of time to examine the end zone tape and how they played with people around them. Once you get to the NFL, that's more of the game. There is going to be no clean pockets, and there is going to be no wide open receiver."
Fairchild felt Allen checked all the boxes.
"There is not a throw the guy can't make," he said. "He has elite size. He has elite arm strength. He is quick with the ball, which is rare for a guy his size. He is very accurate. And he is certainly a tough guy."