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DraftKings x Metabilia x Josh Allen Revolutionizing NFTs with Unique Utility

Zach Thompson breaks down Josh Allen’s rise to stardom as one of the top young QBs in the NFL.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are one of the favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the Super Bowl this coming season, and one of the main reasons why is the rise of their superstar QB Josh Allen. Allen enters the season as the favorite for MVP and is widely viewed as one of the top signal-callers in the NFL. He’s poised for a monster season and has a great team around him that is set up for success.

Whether you’re a hard-core member of Bills Mafia and tables quake in your presence or you have had the privilege of building a DFS or season-long roster around the fantasy stud, you can get a special part of Allen’s future by snagging one of Allen’s unique Membership NFTs, produced in DraftKings’ collaboration with Metabilia. Metabilia Membership NFTs are athlete-specific passes that enable owners to continue receiving event-based NFTs all season long. These additional airdropped NFTs are free and creatively capture milestones from the past and present of the player’s career journey. The Membership passes & event-based NFTs consist of three unique Rarities - in order of scarcity: Black, Platinum and Green. You can join this elite and exclusive cohort to follow along with Josh Allen’s career with unique event-based NFTs as the season progresses.

Allen’s rise to the top began in Central California, where he grew up on a cotton farm outside of Fresno. In high school, Allen starred in multiple sports at Firebaugh High School, leading the basketball team in scoring and pitching on the baseball team with a fastball that reached 90 mph. That big arm also served him well on the football field, but he didn’t follow the typical path to specialized play and was not heavily recruited headed into college. In fact, Allen didn’t receive a single scholarship offer from any FBS or FCS school when he graduated high school, so he instead attended Jr. College at Reedley College, where he starred for the Reedley Tigers.

In his freshman year, he averaged 205.5 passing yards and 66.0 rushing yards per game in 10 contests. During that year, he also grew two inches to 6-foot-5 and bulked up to 210 pounds. He still didn’t get any scholarship offers, though, so he mass-emailed every head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and quarterback coach in FBS. Even then, Allen only got two offers, one from Central Michigan, which was later withdrawn, and one from Wyoming. After his family made one last push to get him an offer from Fresno State, Allen enrolled in Wyoming, where he entered a QB competition before the 2015 season.

He actually lost the starting job to a Sr. named Cameron Coffman, but Allen did get the start in the second game of the season. In that start against Eastern Michigan, Allen led the Cowboys to a touchdown on his opening drive, but disaster struck on his second possession when his season was ended by a big hit he took while scrambling. After attempting only four passes in the game, he lowered his throwing shoulder to finish a run and broke his clavicle in seven different places. He had a full recovery from the scary injury and threw for 3,200 yards and 28 touchdowns the following season while helping the team improve from 2-10 to 8-6 and earn an invite to the Poinsettia Bowl. After losing to BYU in that game, Allen seriously thought about declaring for the draft, but he instead opted to return to Wyoming for another year. His numbers were down in 2017 with 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions, but one reason for that may have been a sprained AC Joint that forced him to miss two regular-season games. He returned for a bowl-game victory over Central Michigan, which served as a showcase game for the 21-year-old QB, and he declared his plan to enter the 2018 NFL Draft on the field after the game.

The 2018 Draft class included several promising young QBs and Allen was in the debate along with Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson. The Cleveland Browns took Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, and the New York Jets grabbed Darnold at No. 3. The Buffalo Bills, though, believed in Allen enough to trade up to get the No. 7 overall pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and select Allen as the third QB taken in the draft.

Allen was seen as the prototypical big, strong QB with a rocket arm but needed time to develop since he came from a smaller school as a late bloomer. Like in college, he actually lost the competition for the starting job at the start of the season. The Nathan Peterman era in Buffalo was extremely ugly and short-lived, though, and Allen made his first regular-season start by Week 2 against the Chargers. He lost his debut but threw for 245 yards and his first NFL touchdown, which was to Kelvin Benjamin. He also opened eyes with a bomb to Zay Jones which traveled 64 yards in the air, per NFL Next Gen Stats, which was the second-longest air distance for a completed pass since the stat was tracked. Allen definitely had the arm to make all the throws, but he struggled with accuracy throughout that season, finishing with the lowest completion percentage in the NFL at 52.8%. He also missed time with an elbow injury, but he finished the year strong with a five-touchdown performance against the Dolphins in Week 17 that earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He was the first QB in franchise history to lead the team in both rushing and passing in a single season, running for 631 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing 10 scores with 2,074 passing yards in 12 games.

His accuracy improved the following season, and he played all 16 games on his way to 20 passing touchdowns, nine rushing scores and 3,089 passing yards. He led the Bills to the playoffs for the first time in his career with that production, but they lost to the Houston Texans on the road. After building a 16-0 lead in the third quarter, Allen struggled and the team lost in overtime despite his 92 rushing yards and 264 passing yards.

In 2020, Allen took a huge leap forward, improving his completion percentage from 58.8% to a career-best 69.2%. His numbers were boosted by the offseason addition of Stefon Diggs as his No. 1 WR. He started the year on fire, throwing for over 300 yards in each of the first three games of the season and earning AFC Offensive Player of the Month. After starting the season 4-0, the Bills dropped a pair of games to playoff contenders in the Titans and Chiefs. The only other loss they had for the rest of the season was on the “Hail Murray” in Arizona, where DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray pulled off a last-second miracle to hand them their third loss. The Bills’ 13-3 record was good enough to help them claim their first AFC East division title since 1995, and Allen followed that with his first two career playoff wins over the Colts and Ravens. In the AFC Championship, the Bills lost 38-24 to the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost the Super Bowl that season to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers. Allen finished second in MVP voting behind Aaron Rodgers.

Before the start of the 2021 season, Allen and the Bills agreed to a six-year contract extension which will keep him in Buffalo through 2028. He lived up to that contract for the most part, although his numbers did dip a little bit as the team focused more on a balanced offensive attack. The team claimed a second straight division title with their 11-6 record and dispatched division-rival New England convincingly in the first round of the playoffs. In the second round of the playoffs, Allen and Patrick Mahomes staged an epic QB duel that went back and forth until the closing seconds of the game. After leading his team to the lead with 13 seconds remaining, Allen watched as Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field for the game-tying field goal and the game-winning score on the first possession of overtime. He showed incredible growth as a postseason performer from his first playoff appearance against the Texans and set a new NFL record for the highest passer rating in a single postseason.

The Bills have had a great offseason, according to most experts, while the Chiefs and other contenders have had to trade away pieces due to contract concerns. They should be ready for Allen to take the next step and potentially reach his first Super Bowl. Make sure to take advantage of this partnership with Metabilia in the DraftKings Marketplace to enjoy what should be an exciting season for Allen in an exclusive and unique way.