Former Alabama football, now Bills QB, AJ McCarron will battle Josh Allen


Every NFL team wants a franchise QB. The Buffalo Bills may have drafted one but first, he will have to beat out former Alabama football, QB AJ McCarron.

In mid-March, former Alabama football QB, AJ McCarron signed a two-year $10 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. That signing made AJ the likely 2018 starting QB for Buffalo. AJ was expected to beat out the Bills other QB, Nathan Peterman.

The rosy picture changed during the opening round of the NFL Draft. The Bills traded up to the No. 7 pick and selected former Wyoming QB, Josh Allen. The Bills did not believe AJ is a franchise quarterback. They think Josh Allen can be.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Josh Allen has a big body and a big arm. At 6-feet-5 and 233 pounds, Allen looks like a young Ben Roethlisberger. The problem with Allen is he does not come close to Roethlisberger in passing accuracy. Allen completed just 56 percent of his passes as the starter at Wyoming. His unimpressive accuracy was achieved mostly against MWC defenses. He was even worse against Power Five defenses.

Allen defined by scouts as a ‘project’

Against Nebraska early in his Wyoming starting QB career, Allen threw five interceptions and coughed up a fumble. As the video below shows, he did not get much help from his offensive line but he made several ill-advised throws.

Last season in two losses against Iowa and Oregon, Allen was 33-for-65 with zero TD’s, 3 interceptions and a lost fumble. Some scouts excuse the five interceptions against Nebraska because Allen was only a sophomore. As an Alabama football sophomore, AJ McCarron led the Tide to a national championship. McCarron had five interceptions that entire season. As a junior, in route to another national championship, AJ threw 29 touchdown passes and only three interceptions.

AJ does not have Allen’s big arm. Neither is AJ a threat as an RPO QB. He is a winner and he does not make many mistakes.

The Bills did not draft Josh Allen to watch football. It is too early to determine how much of a ‘project’ Allen is but the Bills management will want him on the field as soon as possible. Bills GM, Brandon Beane is, of course, not making any predictions.

"We’re not going to rush him, but you know if he somehow wins the job, he wins it. There’s other players out there. There will be 52 other players out there and if they see that he’s clearly the best, I don’t think we could do that. We wouldn’t do that at any other position, so we’ll let it go. But he’s got a lot of catching up to do"

AJ with a head start?

Actually, Allen does not have that much catching up to do. The head start McCarron and Peterman got working with new Bills Offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll began on April 16th.

If AJ is the game one starter it will have nothing to do with a head start. He will have to perform better than Allen (and Peterman) to earn the job. Even if AJ does win the starting job at the end of the NFL preseason, he will not have much breathing room. The Bills clearly believe Josh Allen is their future. It will be a battle. AJ will not back down.

Next: Ten Best Tide QB's of All-time

AJ McCarron was a Heisman Trophy runner-up who was only drafted at No. 164 in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has never fully escaped being defined as a game manager. AJ has a chance to prove his detractors wrong even if a No. 7 pick, rookie ‘franchise’ QB is breathing down his neck.