Josh Allen grew up in Firebaugh, California, a two-stoplight town of 7,500 residents in the middle of a farming region. He finished his college career at Wyoming, so, yes, it could be culture shock if he's drafted by the New York Jets.
Allen said he'd relish the opportunity to play in Gotham and rescue the Jets from quarterback purgatory.
"Absolutely," he said Friday in a phone interview with ESPN. "They’re a couple of pieces away from winning a lot of football games. I really enjoyed the coaching staff and I think it would be a really good fit. I think they’ve got some weapons on offense and they have a really young defense that’s ready to win right now."
The Jets own the third pick in the draft. Some mock drafts project Allen to go No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns. If that doesn't happen, he probably will be available for the Jets, who have performed an inordinate amount of due diligence on Allen. In fact, they were the only team to travel to Laramie, Wyoming, for a private workout.
For the record, the Jets also conducted private workouts with Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and UCLA's Josh Rosen. They skipped a private workout with USC's Sam Darnold. All four visited the Jets' facility.
"First they got me on the board," said Allen, recalling his private time with Jets officials. "They gave me a quick lesson on their offense and how they handle themselves, then I went up on the board and regurgitated it back to them. I talked about some of my plays and the things we did at Wyoming. Then we went down on the field and threw a lot of footballs. They had some free agents come out and I made all the throws, so there’s no question about that."
The Jets weren't finished with Allen. They brought him to their facility for a pre-draft visit, and he met with coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates for the second time. He also got a chance to meet with members of he defensive staff and had a sitdown with CEO Christopher Johnson.
"I’d say he’s different from most owners," Allen said. "He said he doesn’t want to step on any toes and he wants to be his own person. He’s very down to earth. He just wants to be known as a normal guy. At the same time, he’s the owner of one of the greatest franchises in the NFL. It was kind of cool to see the perspective he has on everything. It was a blessing to meet him."
Allen is a risk-reward pick. He has "the biggest upside in the draft, a really exciting player," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Friday. "Obviously, he has to learn how to be a little more accurate. He has to throw with timing and anticipation."
There are no character issues with Allen, who has an upbeat personality and is considered a good leader. During the run-up to the draft, he's working with Hyundai, promoting its “Rolling with the Rookies” series. He doesn't sound concerned about the prospect of dealing with the pressures of New York.
"I think where I come from is going to help me with a market such as New York," he said. "I’m not afraid of the media. I think I know how to handle them because I’ve been around them enough. I understand the New York media is a lot more magnified than most markets, but I’m up for that challenge. I'd definitely be suitable and I’d be primed for a market like that."