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Draft? Cardinals Already Have Josh Allen

Posted Apr 23, 2018

Undrafted journeyman lineman plays center, but admittedly wouldn't fit behind one

Cardinals offensive lineman Josh Allen does know how to spin the ball, maybe just not the same way as the potential No. 1 draft pick of the same name.

Josh Allen has never played quarterback for real, although he has been QB in 7-on-7 stuff back in high school.

No, not that Josh Allen. This Josh Allen. The Josh Allen who is already on the Cardinals’ roster, signed back in January to provide some offensive line depth and who has been in the NFL off and on since 2014.

Perhaps the Josh Allen you’re thinking of, the Wyoming quarterback who will be a first-round pick later this week, could end up on the Cardinals. Current Cardinal Josh Allen smiles at the thought.

“Hey, one Josh Allen per team,” Allen said. “I’m the only Josh Allen on this team. Let’s keep it that way.”

He’s joking, of course. If Josh Allen, the Wyoming one, were to fall to the Cardinals’ pick at 15 – like any of the top quarterbacks – it is hard to imagine the Cards passing. He has warts as a prospect, most notably his accuracy. But he has a ton of great traits for an NFL quarterback, which is why it seems likely he will be a top-five pick, long before the Cardinals are on the clock.

Frankly, if Josh Allen were to join Josh Allen in the locker room, he’d ask to take a picture with him.

Everyone knows that other Josh Allen. This one? He's a little more difficult to find. A little while ago, one of the lineman Allen’s friends tried to search Allen on the internet to show some co-workers. A couple of years ago, that would’ve worked fine.

“Now you pull up ‘Josh Allen’ and it’s this quarterback kid,” Allen said. “I’m like, ‘Hold up. Man, I’ve been kicked off Google now too? C’mon.

“It’s takes a lot of scrolling. A lot of scrolling. But I’m still on there.”

What someone would find should they be willing to scroll is that Allen, the Cardinals’ version, is a product of Louisiana-Monroe. He didn’t give playing in the NFL two thoughts until his senior season, when he saw his name listed among potential center prospects and decided to work toward the league.

He signed as an undrafted rookie with Tampa Bay in 2014, the first of three different stints with the Buccaneers. He’s also spent time with the Packers and 49ers and the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders, appearing in only three games – all in 2014 – and rarely on an in-season active roster.

He was going to become a firefighter in his hometown of Dallas after college originally. As the years go by, that thought fades a bit. He wants to push the football thing as long as he can, although his own history leaves him leery.

“I’ve been comfortable before and every time I’ve been comfortable, you can be gone at any time,” he said. “I’ll never be comfortable again.”

That doesn’t stop him from having a little fun with the fact he shares a name with one of the NFL’s potential star QBs.

He almost didn’t – share a name, that is. His father wanted to name him Nicholas. Mom put a stop to that, so they just named him Josh, after his father (although he isn’t a junior.) Even then, Allen the lineman said, it’s caused some pauses.

“With my name being Josh Allen, typically people expect, like, no offense to anyone, they expect a white guy to walk through the door,” he said. “One of my best friends from college, they put our name tags on our beds and I showed up late and he’s expecting this small white guy to walk in and he wakes up in the morning and he sees this black guy with dreads.”

Josh Allen the quarterback does happen to be white, although he isn’t small, listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. Josh Allen the lineman is 6-3, 315.

Thursday, when the NFL draft starts, that’ll be the chance for the undrafted Allen to finally hear his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell. Not that he will take advantage.

“I didn’t even watch the draft when I came out,” he said. “Kudos to all those guys getting drafted, but that’s not in process right now. I will not be paying attention to the draft. I will promise you that.”

He’s actually a comic book guy, and next weekend’s release of the anticipated movie “Avengers: Infinity War” is what is dominating his thoughts. Next week, after the draft, it’ll be back to workouts with the Cardinals.

By then, everyone will know what NFL team quarterback Josh Allen will play for, and that particular Allen will have had his moment in the spotlight.

“He’ll make all the Josh Allens in the world look good,” the Cardinals’ Josh Allen said.

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