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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Washington Redskins Select Alabama DE/DT Jonathan Allen as the 17th overall player

The best defender in America goes to the Washington Redskins

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

To us, it seems as though Jonathan Allen is one of the safer Alabama players in this draft if his shoulders hold up and if he is in the right scheme. He is a versatile athlete that plays better than his SPARQ scores would predict. He’s a team leader; he does not take plays off, is punishing, and is a very heady defensive lineman.

The negging about Allen’s game is that he is a possible tweener that lacks ideal arm length and that he is occasionally swallowed up inside. Still, no player reliably whips their opponent on every down. Even against NFL talent linemen, Allen was able to thrive. Only two games really stand out where his arm length and/or being swamped were apparent: Against 6’8” Forrest Lamp (WKU) and then against Clemson, where he was largely neutralized with aggressive double-teams, plays away from his side, and quick/zero step drops.

Allen’s best fit is as a two-gap 3-4 defensive end working out of his preferred 1-, 3- and 5-tech. He has also been working on his 6- and 9-tech and improving his ability to drop back in coverage.


Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama, NFL Draft - -

Allen isn't a sudden rusher who screams off the edge, but is a pass rush threat due to his powerful hands and punch to control the point of attack, giving himself options while reading the ball. He converts speed to power with contact balance and body control while also showing the lateral agility to knife through gaps and out-leverage blockers. Allen has scheme-diverse ability and will benefit from a creative defensive coordinator who moves him around and doesn't just leave him on the edge, similar to how the Seattle Seahawks use Michael Bennett. Allen is one of the most talented prospects in the 2017 draft class and deserving of top-three overall consideration if the medicals (shoulder) check out.

Jonathan Allen scouting report: NFL draft prospect rankings |

He also can shoot his way through a gap in a hurry. Allen gets off the snap without hesitation, and he has an advanced enough technique to pair that first reaction with a punch that keeps blockers at bay. He varies his attacks, too, so linemen cannot just sit and wait on a bull rush—he’ll swim past or rip or simply sidestep them en route to the pocket.


Jonathan Allen Draft Profile –

Lacking the height teams look for from defensive ends. Not very long and could struggle to win the race for hand positioning against long NFL tackles. Found himself engulfed by linemen with mass from time to time. A move inside could require more bulk on his bones. Not built to take on double-team blocks for a living. Doesn't possess lateral quickness and twitch to contain speedy running backs from getting the corner when he's at defensive end. Teams utilizing one-gap scheme could question his lack of tackles on other side of the line. Might have benefitted by playing along so much NFL talent up front.

From SI

How worried are teams about Allen’s shoulders? He required multiple surgeries during his college career, and at the combine he had to answer for a diagnosis of arthritis in both shoulders. “Every doctor said if there’s a problem, it’s after football, way after football,” Allen claimed. “I have no concerns with it at all.”