How Josh Allen left an unforgettable first impression with Archie Manning

Manning spoke highly of Allen while speaking on the "Upon Further Review" podcast
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The patriarch of football’s first family says he knew Josh Allen would succeed in the National Football League — after he saw him throw a wet football.

Like many top quarterback prospects, Allen attended the Manning Passing Academy ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft. Archie Manning remembers one thing in particular about his performance.

“I’m not sure when Josh Allen came here from Wyoming a lot of people knew who Josh Allen was and what he had done at Wyoming and how talented he was,” Manning said recently on the “Upon Further Review” podcast. “I can remember that particular year we were doing a competition one day, the college quarterbacks, and it started raining. We didn’t get them off the field because there wasn’t lightning - so we let them go. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone throw a wet football like Josh Allen threw that day.”

That is high praise, though it’s worth noting Peyton Manning played the majority of his career inside of a dome, so Archie didn’t have many opportunities to see his all-time great son play in bad conditions. Still, many great young quarterbacks pass through the Manning Academy on a yearly basis (at least before COVID-19). It’s apparent Allen left a lasting impression.

Back in 2017, Allen remarked fondly on his time at the camp.

“I think I turned some heads in camp. It was a great experience with a lot of great guys,” he said, via the Wyoming News. “It was probably the funnest thing I’ve done in a while.”

Allen’s ability to play in brutal winter weather has helped him in Buffalo. The Bills averaged 40.4 points per-game last December — a remarkable feat.

It took just three seasons for Allen to establish himself as one of the league’s best quarterbacks, finishing second in MVP voting. While Archie Manning recognized Allen’s talent instantly, he even admits he didn’t expect him to put everything together this quickly.

“He’s a great young man and I can’t say - I’m somewhat surprised how well he’s played, because he’s played well so quick,” Manning said. “But he’s a great player and a great young man.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports