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Josh Allen's first practice 'a little ugly,' but he embraces challenge of earning top pick

MOBILE, Ala. – Josh Allen's quest to become the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft started a little slowly out of the gates Tuesday.

The Wyoming quarterback showed the same combination of "wow" arm talent and inconsistency during his first Senior Bowl practice that he displayed during his college career, according to ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay’s review.

But while the 6-foot-5, 237-pounder admitted he had some "easy misses," he also said that was to be expected a bit while all the quarterbacks and receivers were getting adjusted to one another and the playbook at the same time.

"It was a little ugly today, and I think people kind of expect that on the first day," Allen said. "And we'll come out tomorrow and clean things up."

Allen still has ample time to convince the Cleveland Browns or other potential employers that he is worth becoming their franchise quarterback. And you don't have to go back far to find teams that were willing to roll the dice on an unproven guy with immense potential (Mitchell Trubisky last year, Carson Wentz the year before that).

And oh, by the way, Wentz is also listed at 6-5, 237, and had the same head coach and offensive coordinator and pro-style system at North Dakota State that Allen had at Wyoming.

But Allen will be judged on his own merits -- and that includes teams needing to be convinced he can clean up his troubling career completion percentage of 56.1.

Some of that was because of the lack of talent around him and issues with dropped passes. But not all of it. And Allen is well aware he'll have to convince NFL teams over these next three months that he can do it.

"The accuracy, of course," Allen said when asked what he wants to show teams most this week on the practice field. "And being able to put the ball where it needs to be put at any given time. So going out there and making sure my stride's right and my sequencing is all in pattern and delivering a good, catchable ball."

Allen seems ready to embrace the challenge -- it's why he said he never considered skipping the Senior Bowl, as many top prospects do. And it's not as if he expects anything to come easily after he got zero scholarship offers in high school and began his college career at Reedley College.

Allen said the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick wouldn't change the pressure he has always put on himself to be great.

Allen also made it clear he would embrace any team that wanted him, including the 0-16 Browns, who have both the No. 1 and No. 4 picks.

Unlike UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who reportedly prefers to be drafted by the New York Giants (who have the No. 2 pick), Allen told Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan on Monday that he wants "to be the guy that turns around the Cleveland Browns."

"The guy that does that is going to be immortalized in Cleveland forever," Allen said.

When asked why he is undaunted by the Browns' quarterback history (28 different starting QBs since 1999 and 12 since Jimmy Haslam took ownership of the team in October 2012), Allen said he liked the direction the franchise is headed under new general manager John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson.

"I definitely think it's a different situation than it has been in the past few years," Allen said. "I think their head coach is doing the right things. Their GM is notorious for helping turn around programs. They got the youngest team in the NFL, a lot of cap space, they've got a lot of high picks."

Likewise, Allen said it would be "fantastic" to learn behind Giants quarterback Eli Manning (whom he got to meet as a counselor at last year's Manning Passing Academy) and that he would "soak up everything he does and follow him around like a puppy."

Allen, who grew up on a farm in a small California town 40 miles west of Fresno, said he has never been to New York, but he would welcome landing there with either the Giants or the Jets.

"You know, I've never been in that environment, so I wouldn't know [for sure what to expect]. I understand the media's a little crazier than most places," Allen said. "But I'm there to play football. If I'm fortunate to be in that city, I'm gonna play football first.

"There's a lot of pressure that comes with being a NFL quarterback wherever you're at, and I'm ready to tackle any situation that's in front of me.”