There hasn’t been a more important day in Wyoming football in the last decade. Or two decades. Or three.
Scouts, GMs, and media members galore ascended to Laramie for one reason and one reason only: job interviews. A big job interview where, not only are your future employers watching you, but the rest of the country.
Josh Allen was joined by Rico Gafford, who was the brightest star outside of Allen, and the other seven senior members of the Cowboys. All of them performed for scouts from every single NFL team and more than a few head coaches and front office members.
Allen was only there to throw, and Jordan Palmer, with whom he’s been working out, put him through his paces. The two, along with Drew Van Maanen and friends of Allen’s, let the show commence.
Before Allen touched a football, the rest of the men showed off their skills.
Jalen Ortiz performed well and certainly didn’t lower his stock. His broad jump of 10’3 would’ve been the seventh best among linebackers, right behind Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch.
But the most impressive Cowboy was Rico Gafford. Gafford, who was a cornerstone of Wyoming’s ball-hungry defense last season, turned everyone’s head during his 40 yard dash. Or at least, when they felt him run by.
Gafford turned in a 4.25 40 yard dash. Read that. Read it again. That would have been the third fastest time at the NFL Combine since 2013. The only two men faster than Gafford would have been Chris Johnson and John Ross.
In front of the whole football world, Rico lit scouts’ stopwatches on fire. He’s not the biggest cornerback on the planet (he measured in at 5’9 and 181 lbs), but he proved he can fly. And looking at tape, he can play, too.
The cameras then turned to Josh Allen. And honestly, I don’t know what I can say about how he did, so I’ll try to appeal to both sides.
To the people who love Josh: he did pretty good! A lot of throws were on a rope. There’s one that I distinctly remember where he asked if the receiver was alright because he threw it so hard. He showed off his cannon, hitting a receiver in stride from about 60 yards away. He showed some good footwork, and reminded everyone of how good he is on the move.
To the people who hate Josh: it was about what you expected. Missed passes, wobbly throws. He almost hit me in the head on one pass (and I really wish I got that on video but here we are). There were more than a couple drops, and some were because he throws so dang hard. On some of his longer throws, his receivers had to adjust a lot to get to the ball, if he wasn’t overthrowing them.
The point I’m trying to make is this: Josh is who he is. He’s done pretty much everything he can to prove to people that he’s worth a top-five pick. The Combine, the Senior Bowl, Pro Day, even the bowl game. Josh Allen is walking confirmation bias and you’re going to see exactly what you want to see from him.