Notre Dame Senior
Has good quickness in the hole, and is able to make guys miss on the second level. Can set up defenders. Has good burst when he can get north and south and does well on draws and stretch plays. Can be dangerous runner in space due to his quickness and vision. Does a nice job on screen passes. Runs hard for his size, keeping his feet moving after contact and will break through arm tackles. Shows ability to lower the pads and deliver blow to defensive back on the second level.
Doesn't do a good job securing the ball against his body when he's running in space, which leads to fumbles. Doesn't have the size or power to break many tackles at the next level. Dances a bit too much at times in the hole looking for the big run. Doesn't always adjust well to the throw in the flat. Misses assignments in pass protection.
Allen projects well as a change of pace runner that can contribute on third downs. Durability has been his major concern, as he's missed 5 games in each of the past two seasons. As a junior, he broke his hand and injured his ankle. As a senior, it was a hip flexor and torn labrum in his shoulder that sidelined him. He underwent hip surgery in November. He was their lead back in both seasons, combining for 249 carries for 1211 yards (4.9 avg), 5 touchdowns, and 45 receptions. As a sophomore, he started 8 of 13 games, rushing for 585 yards on 134 carries (4.4 avg), 3 touchdowns, and 50 catches. During his career, he also returned 54 kickoffs for an average of 23.1 yards with a touchdown, and 9 punts for a 12.6 average. If Allen can stay healthy, he has potential to develop as a capable third down runner.
Allen's ability as a returner should give him some immediate value for an NFL offense. He is a capable receiver and has good speed and quickness. He'll fit best in a zone-blocking scheme that will let him run on stretches and get him opportunities on draws. He's not going to deserve a ton of carries, but ultimately you could see him developing into a Maurice Morris-type of third down back. He's not really the type of guy that you consistently give more than 3-5 carries per game, but he can make up for that as a receiver and potentially as a return threat. Durability and ball security are his biggest negatives. So I don't know if he'll ever be a reliable option for an NFL team as a No. 2 back, but he can definitely contribute as a No. 3 runner at the next level.
Allen can be a decent replacement at the No. 3 position because he offers similar tools and skillset as Norwood. He's not as explosive a big play threat as Norwood, but probably has better vision. But like Norwood, he too would be limited by his role in the Falcons offense because he's not great between the tackles, and lacks durability. More than likely, he wouldn't be an upgrade over Norwood, but a decent option as a change of pace runner behind Turner if he can improve in pass protection and contribute on special teams. But he's not the type of guy that if injuries occur you want taking a big chunk of the carries because like Norwood he would struggle in such a role in the Falcons offense.
Allen's talent level matches that of potential fifth and sixth round picks, but his durability concerns push him to the seventh round. If he checks out medically, then he is worth a pick in the seventh. If not, just wait and try to sign him as an undrafted free agent.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Scouting reports of the running backs and fullbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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