East Carolina Senior
PROS: Is a strong player that does a nice job anchoring and plays with good base. Makes it hard to bull rush him. Shows some pop off the snap and able to get position. Flashes potential as a drive blocker. Gets into stance fairly quickly in pass protection, delivers a nice punch, and can lock on. Shows mean streak and finishes blocks. Can get out on the second level and get seal on linebacker.
CONS: Struggles matching up with quicker defenders in pass protection due to sloppy footwork. Can be flat-footed and thus has trouble adjusting in space. Bends waist to much. Doesn't consistently deliver punch and can't always lock on as a run blocker. Not natural blocking on the second level and not good on the move as he misses too many assignments when asked to pull.
OVERVIEW: Allen is a powerful run-blocking center that would be a good fit for a team that plays against a lot of 3-4 teams. A two-year starter at center, but also got some reps as a junior (2 starts) at right guard.
NFL FORECAST: Despite his size, strength, and ability to match up well with size, he isn't for everybody. Teams that like their centers to get downfield and block on the move won't like Allen. Teams that play a lot of one-gap teams or blitzing teams won't like Allen. He fits best on a team in the AFC that faces a lot of powerful nose tackles and are tired of seeing their current center getting pushed around. He also works well for a team that wants more of a road-grading blocking style that doesn't feature a lot of movement, traps, and pulls. He reminds me of a poor man's LeCharles Bentley. Not as athletic as Bentley, but a similar player. He can also play guard if need be, although most of his experience comes at center. He should be a capable starting center, but I don't see him being a top guy. As a guard, he'll be an effective starter, but his limitations in pass protection will hurt him there. On the right team/scheme, he'll be a valuable starter. On the wrong one, he's just a decent backup.
ATL FORECAST: Allen is an upgrade over McClure because of his strength and power. But I'm not sure he'll be an ideal fit in Atlanta because he's going to have to block on the move and in space a lot more than he's comfortable doing. I think with a few years on the bench, he can take over the starting spot, but I don't expect him to solidify it for years to come. I think several years down the road, a more versatile player comes along and moves him to the bench or to guard.
VALUE: Allen is a solid late round pick. An AFC team might take him as a high as the fifth particularly if they need to beef up their pivot play.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.