Two years ago, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, then with the Jacksonville Jaguars, made waves when he blasted what seemed to be half the NFL’s prominent quarterbacks in a GQ interview.
The harshest criticism was reserved for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who hadn’t even played in a game since being taken seventh overall in the 2018 NFL draft. Between saying the rookie was “trash” and “a stupid draft pick,” Ramsey made very clear that he expected no NFL success from one of the draft’s most divisive prospects.
However, Ramsey now appears to have changed his tune.
Jalen Ramsey on Josh Allen: ‘He’s talented’
Fast forward to two weeks into the 2020 NFL season, and Allen very much does not look like “trash.” He looks like an MVP candidate. And he’s gone from being “a stupid draft pick” to the consensus second-best quarterback in his class.
In two games, both Bills wins, Allen has completed 57 of 81 passes for 727 passing yards (best in the NFL through Week 2), six touchdowns and zero interceptions, plus 76 rushing yards a touchdown on the ground. The previous season, he led the Bills to a playoff berth and established himself as the clear foundation for the franchise.
With the Rams set to face the Bills in Week 3, questions about Allen were inevitable for Ramsey. When asked about the quarterback by Sports Illustrated’s Eric Williams, Ramsey had some praise. Not a lot, but some:
“He’s talented,” Ramsey said.
“He presents challenges,” Ramsey said. “Every week you have to face a new challenge, and this is our third week so we have to face the challenge of him and that Bills’ offense. He has some weapons around him. He can make plays running the ball and extending plays, etc, etc. ... Kind of the things everyone knows about him.
“But I’m confident in what I can do and this Rams’ defense can do, and that’s kind of what matters the most to me and the guys around here.”
That’s not exactly eating crow for Ramsey, but it at least shows his opinion has changed on Allen.
For reference, here is what Ramsey had to say in that GQ interview:
I think [Buffalo Bills draft pick Josh] Allen is trash. I don't care what nobody say. He's trash. And it's gonna show too. That's a stupid draft pick to me. We play them this year, and I'm excited as hell. I hope he's their starting quarterback. He played at Wyoming. Every time they played a big school—like, they played Iowa State, which is not a big school in my opinion because I went to Florida State, and he threw five interceptions, and they lost by a couple touchdowns or something like that. He never beat a big school. If you look at his games against big schools, it was always hella interceptions, hella turnovers. It's like: Yo, if you're this good, why couldn't you do better? He fits that mold, he's a big, tall quarterback. Big arm, supposedly. I don't see it, personally.
To be fair to Ramsey, he wasn’t exactly alone is seeing Allen as a quarterback with prototypical size and athleticism, and little else. The Bills received their fair share of mockery for picking a player with a mediocre track record against lesser competition than every other first-round quarterback.
To Allen’s credit, he seems to have been nothing but grow since taking the field with the Bills, and is clearly a promising player. However, that’s not to say Ramsey was completely wrong.
Just look at what he said directly after trashing Allen:
I would've picked [Lamar Jackson] earlier than 32. I think he's gonna do a good job. Especially with the [Baltimore Ravens'] offensive coordinator—he likes running quarterbacks, likes that read option. And just being honest about it, [Joe] Flacco sucks. I played him two years in a row. He sucks.
Seems fairly prescient.
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