Position: Interior defender (three-technique)
Weight: 291 pounds
School: Alabama Crimson Tide
Jonathan Allen 2017 NFL Draft Profile
Jonathan Allen is the best current college football player entering the NFL draft. He was bound for success as the 11th ranked recruit out high school, and being the second rated prospect in the state of Virginia. From there, he played in seven games in his freshman season, recording 15 tackles, three for loss with a half sack, and forced fumble. His sophomore year featured 32 tackles, 11 for loss in addition to five sacks.
In his junior year, Alabama won the national championship where he started every game, and put up 46 sacks, 12 for loss and 11 sacks. He came off that season to win the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski award as the clear cut best defensive player in the nation. He put up 69 tackles, 16.5 for loss and to go with 10.5 sacks. His college success will lead to a high draft pick, but now the question is how high? It is the ultimate case of debating current success in college compared long term betting and drafting in the NFL.
- Can play on the edge and inside.
- Vicious hand movement.
- Great playing strength.
- Bursts of the ball with impact.
- Takes on double teams.
- Has the speed to chase down running backs.
- Multiple pass rushing moves.
- Not the most athletic player.
- Would be better on the edge in more of a five technique.
- frame might not be ideal in terms of playing on the interior of the defensive line.
NFL Comparison: Sheldon Richardson
Teams with needs at position: Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers
Projection: top ten
There are too many knocks on Allen when looking at him as the safest pick in the draft. The question about Allen will be where he plays on the line in the NFL. He can play inside on pass rushing downs, and outside against the run. He reminds you of Richardson in how he can move around in space for his size, and how he can hold his own on the edge in the running game. Still, he is not quick around the edge as a consistent pass rush player out there.
On the inside, he uses his vicious hands that remind you of a Jurrell Casey or Ndamukong Suh type of ability to beat inside lineman in combat and find his way into the backfield quickly. The question will be how much he can handle the physical game in the NFL, and he has been contained at times when double teamed.
Allen reminds you of Sheldon Richardson in how violent, yet how versatile he can be used in the NFL. Richardson has the same frame as Allen and the same question as to what position he plays. By technical standards, Richardson is 3-4 outside linebacker. However, he fits more as a defensive lineman, and plays much more near the line than anywhere else. His versatility makes him an interesting prospect, and the ability be effective in both positions make him a lock to be an impact player in the league. The question now will be how his ceiling, and if he can be used in the right scheme to make a specific impact.