ORLANDO — **While most trained their eyes on Josh Allen's arm, the Browns were watching the Wyoming quarterback's feet.
Allen, who's considered one of the top players in the upcoming NFL Draft thanks to his rare arm talent, showcased his new-and-improved footwork at his Pro Day last week in an effort to alleviate concerns about his accuracy.
Browns coach Hue Jackson, who was among a large contingent from Cleveland in attendance, said Allen demonstrated improvement in that area as the team evaluates whether to select one of this year's top quarterbacks — a group that includes Allen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and UCLA's Josh Rosen — with the first or fourth overall pick.
"Obviously there's questions we had about all of them. With Josh, it was about his footwork and accuracy. You can definitely see improvement in him," Jackson said Tuesday at the NFL's Annual Meeting. "But again, that wasn't a game he was playing in. That was a workout on his campus and we've got to kind of push that to what that would look like in a game. But there's no question he's improved."
Allen looked sharp at his Pro Day, launching several passes of 80-plus yards to go along with short and intermediate throws. "One of the receivers at Wyoming, I thought he broke his sternum there in the end zone when Josh Allen kind of ripped the ball right in his chest," general manager John Dorsey said, laughing, Monday. "He's got a very strong arm."
Allen had a similarly positive showing at the league's annual scouting combine last month, where he drew ooh's and ahh's from those in attendance. After that performance, NFL Network Mike Mayock said Allen has the strongest arm he's seen in a decade and, in the right situation, could develop into one of the league's premier players. For Allen, arm strength has never been a question. What teams are still digging into, however, is a 56-percent completion percentage that could spell trouble at the next level.
Jackson, asked if teams can coach accuracy, said you can to an extent. "You never feel like that that's something that you can just totally fix. I think you can help improve it, but fix it, I think that's kind of hard to do," he said.
"But at the same time, I watched (Allen) improve in some fundamental things that he needed to work on to give himself a better chance to be more accurate. You can see those things, so he had obviously a big day that day. He can really throw the football. This guy is what the quarterbacks look like when they get out of a truck. He looks the part. So it's going to be interesting over the next five weeks to see where we are."