Former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is set for the dreamy destination of “cold, cold Buffalo,” as Georgia head coach Kirby Smart put it. Drafted 167th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Fromm has joined a Buffalo Bills roster saturated with young quarterbacks.
The New York winter chill may extend to the locker room as Fromm will compete with Matt Barkley, Davis Webb and two-year starter Josh Allen for meaningful playing time.
“I thought all-along [Fromm] would be a third, fourth-round pick,” Smart said on NFL Network's Draft-a-thon. “And he lasted until the fifth. People got a lot of doubters, and sometimes doubters motivate you. … They’re going to be a lot better off having him on their team.”
The Bills selected Allen at No. 7 overall in the 2018 draft, dishing two second-round picks to Tampa Bay to trade up from their 12th overall pick.
The 6-foot-5-inch Wyoming alum awed scouts with a strong arm but never completed more than 57% of his passes or carried his team beyond an 8-5 record in the Mid-American West Conference.
2018 seemed to support critics’ concerns. After a 2017 season that saw the team reach a wild card appearance for the first time since 1999, Buffalo finished third in the AFC East at 6-10.
Although Allen rushed for 610 yards and eight scores in 12 appearances, he threw 12 interceptions to 10 touchdowns.
Still, Buffalo had faith in Allen. According to newyorkupstate.com, Bill’s general manager Brandon Beane said in a 2019 radio interview that Allen was a “big-time leader” and would live up to expectations as “the guy” in Buffalo with more reps and more maturity.
For the most part, he did so. Over 16 regular season starts in 2019, Allen’s touchdowns doubled to 20, his picks dropped to nine and his completion percentage shot up six points to 58.8%. He also rushed for 510 yards and nine touchdowns.
Under the 23-year-old’s leadership, the Bills once again reached the AFC wild-card game but fell 22-19 in overtime against Baltimore.
In an April 29 interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” Beane was clear that the team’s selection of Fromm was not meant as a message to Allen.
“We believe in [Allen],” Beane said. “Adding Fromm was just a guy that we had on our board who I thought had a great college career and is very smart. He’ll add to the competition to backup Josh, but Josh is our entrenched starter.“
With the Bills trading for former Minnesota Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs this offseason, CBS Sports’ “Time to Schein” host Adam Schein considers Buffalo a serious 2020 playoff contender with Allen at the helm.
Despite having the highest collegiate passer rating and the only national championship appearance among the Bills’ four quarterbacks, Fromm will have to get comfortable on at least one man’s coattails before seeing action in the NFL.