LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Senior edge rusher Josh Allen has officially accepted an invitation to the 2019 NFL Draft to be held April 25-27 in Nashville, the league office announced Tuesday. He is one of 23 players invited to the prestigious event.
The first round will be held on April 25, followed by the second and third rounds on April 26, and will conclude with rounds 4–7 on April 27. The main NFL Draft stage will be on First and Broadway. Draft picks on the main stage will take place the evenings of April 25 and April 26 and during the afternoon of April 27. Schermerhorn Symphony Center will be host to Selection Square, which features the team tables where representatives from each club will make their draft selections.
The NFL Draft Experience, a three-day football festival, will be held in the parking lots and areas surrounding Nissan Stadium.
The NFL Draft Red Carpet will take place on April 25 at The Green at Riverfront Park.
Allen, who is a projected first-round pick, 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, a native of Montclair, New Jersey, 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.
A summary of his accolades are:
• Bronko Nagurski Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
• Chuck Bednarik Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
• Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy, National Defensive Player of the Year
• Jack Lambert Award, National Linebacker of the Year
• Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club SEC Lineman of the Year
• SEC Defensive Player of the Year (AP, Coaches, Athlon, ESPN)
• First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Athlon, ESPN, Phil Steele)
• Unanimous First-Team All-American