Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Monday on WGR-AM 550 in Buffalo that Allen will begin as the team's No. 3 quarterback behind AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman, and the trio will compete for starting honors.
Beane's comment is standard procedure at this point in the process. Teams try to avoid lumping too many expectations on their shiny new rookies by preaching competition. It would be a shock if Allen didn't eventually win the starting gig in 2018.
McCarron enters offseason workouts as the presumed No. 1, but his physical limitations carry with them questions about his ability to be a true NFL starter. His quiet free-agent market, coupled with signing for backup money in Buffalo, spoke loudly of how most teams view McCarron.
Peterman must overcome his disastrous five-INT debut last season to become more than a third QB.
Allen boasts the most physical talent of the trio, and it's not particularly close in that regard. How fast he picks up the offense will determine at what point the rookie passes Peterman and McCarron on the depth chart.
Yearly we hear about coaches and GMs planning to bring their rookies along slowly only to end up tossing them directly into the fire. Remember when Carson Wentz was supposed to sit to start his career? Ditto, Derek Carr? How about Matt Flynn starting above Russell Wilson in the offseason pecking order?
When there isn't a clear-cut franchise quarterback above a young signal-caller on the depth chart, expect the rookies to be given a chance in short order. NFL teams rarely have the luxury of redshirting a QB anymore and prescribe to the 'sink or swim' method.
If Allen can't beat out McCarron and Peterman, Beane will have tougher questions to answer come September.