On Wednesday, Mel Kiper Jr., with a straight face, lauded Wyoming product Josh Allen for improving his throwing mechanics and accuracy during the pre-draft process. While doing so, he legitimately said of completion percentage and accuracy issues, “That’s history now.”
Mel Kiper Jr: on Josh Allen completion percentage/accuracy criticism : "That's history now … He didn't show any (accuracy issues) during the combine or the pro day. Didn't show it in the bowl game … He's made dramatic improvement and silenced a lot of critics."
— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) March 28, 2018
It’s worth pointing out that he also recently said that pro days don’t matter. But back to his comment about Allen, it’s pretty easy to be accurate when there’s no pressure in your face.
Kiper also said this of Allen back in February: “You have to look beyond the stats,” Kiper Jr. said. “Stats are for losers in my opinion in a lot of ways. The kid won.”
Yet the same standard does not exist in his world when it comes to Jackson, who actually had a better record during the same period of time than Allen did, from 2016-17.
The comments about accuracy not mattering are also quite interesting, because Kiper also said the following about Lamar Jackson, whom he is not high on whatsoever.
“It’s the accuracy throwing the football. Finished career around 57 percent.”
For the record, Jackson finished his career at Louisville with a 57-percent completion rate, while Allen finished his career at Wyoming at 56.2 percent. Also for the record, Jackson, who had very little talent to work with in his final year, completed 59.1 percent of his passes while Allen completed 56.3 percent of his passes in his final year.
Then there’s the whole excuse Kiper used talking about Allen, which was that he was hurt by his teammates.
“If you go watch the throws, it wasn’t all on him,” Kiper said earlier this year. “Incompletions are a result of bad offensive line play, not having a running game this year with the loss of Brian Hill, receivers dropping balls. There’s a lot of factors that contribute to that.”
That doesn’t hold any water, though, when you actually look at who got hurt more by his teammates.
– Lamar Jackson's comp % was hurt the most by drops
– Josh Allen's adjusted completion percentage is lower than 4 of 5 others standard comp %, only .5% better than Jackson pic.twitter.com/oKnXYZLob6
— Jeff (@JF_Fey) January 24, 2018
Clearly, there’s a double standard here.
And quite honestly, in terms of potential, you’d have to put Jackson and Allen in the exact same category. Both are tremendous athletes who have really strong arms, and both need a ton of help to get prepared to face NFL defenses. Yet Allen is always talked about as a potential No. 1 pick, while not only is there doubt that Jackson will go in Round 1 at all, but many think he needs to switch positions and become a wide receiver.
The double standard is truly sickening. And it cannot be highlighted enough.