The Bills’ selection of quarterback Josh Allen at the 2018 NFL Draft hasn’t always looked like it was going to work out. Turns out, he’s pretty good.
That same draft, their AFC East rivals, the Jets, attempted to do the same with quarterback Sam Darold. It hasn’t happened yet.
The easy eye test tells anyone that Allen’s been the better draft pick three years into their respective careers. But Bleacher Report turned things up a notch.
B/R ranked the seven “biggest draft mistakes” of the past three years. The Jets selecting Darnold over Allen was No. 1 on the list. Not only because they passed on Allen, but some forget: the Jets traded up from No. 6 to 3 to pick Darnold, too:
Gang Green could have drafted Allen, who just turned in an MVP-caliber season in 2020. Instead they chose a player who averaged just 184 passing yards per game with nine measly touchdown passes in his third season.
Then there’s what the trade cost. At No. 6 (New York’s original slot), the Indianapolis Colts picked guard Quenton Nelson, who is arguably the best offensive lineman in football. The deal also cost New York three second-round picks. Braden Smith is the starting right tackle for the best line in the NFL. Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin has played a prominent role in the Indy secondary each of the past two years. And the third pick (which was traded to Philadelphia) was used on one of the league’s better young tight ends in Dallas Goedert.
It’s unfair to fully make all these comparisons to Darnold. If the Jets kept all their picks, would they have selected all those players? Hindsight is 20/20, but probably not.
However, it’s hard to argue that the Jets’ mistake on Darnold didn’t benefit Buffalo. At one point, Allen was called the No. 1 overall prospect at the 2018 draft by some, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.
Good thing thing for the Bills that the Jets didn’t listen.
That, and Darnold was just traded this week. He’s now on the Panthers, further showing how brutal of a misstep this was for Gang Green.