NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WBKO) --- 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.