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Josh Allen Draws High Praise From Former All-Pro Left Tackle

Andrew Whitworth had some kind words for the development and play of Jaguars' outside linebacker Josh Allen on Wednesday.

One of the best players on the field for the Jacksonville Jaguars through the first two weeks of the season has unquestionably been veteran outside linebacker Josh Allen.

Facing questions about his production through three years, Allen has seemingly taken his game to a new level in 2022. The former first-round pick leads the Jaguars with two sacks, two forced fumbles, three tackles for loss, four pressures, and three quarterback hits. 

Allen has been on such a tear through two weeks that not only does he lead the Jaguars' front seven in virtually every category, but he is also the only defender in the NFL in 2022 with two sacks and two forced fumbles. Only one other player has forced two fumbles this season. In short, Allen has been in a class of his own. 

That isn't a surprise to most who have watched Allen during his Jaguars career. This includes former All-Pro and Pro Bowl offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who faced Allen last year as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

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"Was shocked he hasn’t had more production. Thought he was a good player studying him last year," Whitworth tweeted on Wednesday. "Ball always got out just before he got there. Or pocket was so clean QB would step up right as he was there."

Allen came in fourth in AP Defensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2019, earning a nod as a Pro Bowl alternate as he set a Jaguars rookie record in sacks (10.5) while recording 11 tackles for loss and 23 quarterback hits, along with two forced fumbles. He became the first Jaguars rookie to ever appear in the Pro Bowl.

Allen appeared in eight games in 2020, recording 2.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hits. He then appeared in 16 games last season, recording 7.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hits, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one interception.

While Allen's production through three years isn't eye-popping, he has set himself up for a big year after the Jaguars picked up his fifth-year option this offseason. The former No. 7 overall pick is off to a hot start and was voted a captain for his third consecutive season, drawing rave reviews from the coaching staff throughout the year.