Josh Allen: A look back at the Kentucky edge rusher’s 2018 season
University of Kentucky football star Josh Allen was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday.
Here are five fast facts to know about the team he’ll play for in the fall.
1. Silver anniversary
The Jaguars will celebrate their 25th anniversary during the 2019 season. Jacksonville joined the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1995 along with the Carolina Panthers. It has won three division championships, the last coming in 2017, and made seven playoff appearances. The Jaguars are the only major professional sports franchise in Jacksonville but are one of three NFL teams in Florida along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who could have drafted Allen with the No. 5 pick, and the Miami Dolphins.
2. Sack leaders
Allen recorded 31.5 sacks in 51 games played at Kentucky, giving him the career record at the school. If he produces at a similar rate at the professional level it won’t take him long to climb up the Jaguars’ career list. Thirteen players in franchise history have recorded at least 20 sacks; two of them, Calais Campbell (seventh with 25 in 32 games) and Yannick Ngakoue (third with 29.5 in 48 games), were on Jacksonville’s roster as of last season. Tony Brackens, who played with the team from 1996-2003, is the franchise leader with 55 sacks in 107 total games played.
3. New quarterback
The Jaguars signed Nick Foles to a four-year, $88 million contract last month after Philadelphia elected not to franchise tag him. Foles led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in 2017, throwing for 373 yards and two touchdowns en route to MVP honors, after replacing starter Carson Wentz when he suffered an ACL injury in Week 14 of the regular season.
4. First game fireworks?
Allen’s first opportunity to see the field will be a big one: Jacksonville hosts the Kansas City Chiefs, the winner of three straight AFC West division titles, in the first week of the 2019 season. The Chiefs are quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 league MVP and who on Thursday was revealed to be the cover athlete for Madden 2020. That game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff Sept. 8 on CBS.
5. Bullet points
▪ Allen is the first UK player to be taken by Jacksonville in the first round and only the second UK player drafted by the franchise, period, joining defensive back Marlon McCree, who was taken with the 233rd pick (seventh round) in the 2001 draft.
▪ Doug Marrone, the Jaguars’ head coach, spent some time in the Southeastern Conference. He was an offensive line coach at Georgia in 2000 before coaching tight ends and offensive tackles at Tennessee the following season.
▪ Locals hoping to watch Allen play and not travel too far will have a few opportunities: the Jaguars come to Cincinnati on Oct. 20, Indianapolis on Nov. 17 and Tennessee on Nov. 24.