Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen was chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the seventh overall pick in the 2019 National Football League Draft on Thursday in Nashville. Allen is the 17th player in UK history selected in the first round and is UK’s highest draft pick since Dewayne Robertson was selected as the fourth pick by the Jets in 2003.
Allen, a native of Montclair, New Jersey, was a pass rush terror for the Wildcats the entire 2018 season. With 31.5 career sacks and 17 sacks in 2018, he broke UK’s career and single-season records and moved up to No. 9 on the Southeastern Conference’s career sacks chart. His 11 career forced fumbles tied former Wildcats and current Chicago Bear Danny Trevathan for UK’s career mark (forced fumbles stats available since 1988). He led the team with 88 tackles and paced the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (5). He also was among the NCAA leaders in sacks, TFL and forced fumbles. Thirteen of Allen’s 17 sacks were in the second half, four in the third quarter and nine in the fourth quarter. In five of UK’s wins, Allen had a sack in the fourth quarter that was crucial to the Wildcat victory, including two sack/fumble/UK recoveries on the opponent’s final possession of one-score games.
Allen was a first-team All-America choice by Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sports Illustrated, TheAthletic.com, ESPN, AP, College Football News, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, USA Today, CBS, American Football Coaches Association, Phil Steele and Athlon. He became UK’s first consensus All-American since wide receiver/kick returner Derek Abney in 2002 and the first unanimous selection since defensive lineman Art Still in 1977.
In the Citrus Bowl vs. Penn State, Allen validated the voters who elected him winner of the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lott awards as National Defensive Player of the Year. He had three quarterback sacks and a QB hurry and he also blocked a field goal that provided the margin of victory in UK’s 27-24 win.
A summary of his accolades are:
· Bronko Nagurski Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
· Chuck Bednarik Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
· Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy, National Defensive Player of the Year
· Jack Lambert Award, National Linebacker of the Year
· Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club SEC Lineman of the Year
· SEC Defensive Player of the Year (AP, Coaches, Athlon, ESPN)
· First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Athlon, ESPN, Phil Steele)
· Unanimous First-Team All-American
The second and third rounds of the Draft will be selected on April 26 at 7 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes. It will conclude with rounds 4–7 on April 27 at Noon ET on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes.
Kentucky/NFL Draft Notes:
· Allen is the 17th player in UK history selected in the first round.
· Allen is UK’s highest draft pick since Dewayne Robertson was selected as the fourth pick by the Jets in 2003.
· Allen is the 11th player in UK history chosen in the top 10 and the first since Dewayne Robertson was selected as the fourth pick by the Jets in 2003.
· Allen is the sixth player drafted under head coach Mark Stoops at Kentucky and the second first-round pick, joining Bud Dupree (Pittsburgh Steelers) in 2015.
· Since 2001, Coach Stoops has now recruited and developed 12 first-round draft picks.
· Kentucky has had a linebacker drafted in five of the last eight NFL drafts (2019 – Josh Allen, 2016 – Josh Forrest, 2015 – Bud Dupree, 2015 – Za’Darius Smith, 2014 – Avery Williamson).
· There have been two other Wildcats who have played for the Jaguars’ franchise in Marlon McCree (2001-03) and Winston Guy (2013-14).
‑ GO CATS –
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