Jeff Allen, OG/OT, Illinois

Scouting Reports of the center, guards, and offensive tackles in the 2012 Draft.
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Jeff Allen, OG/OT, Illinois

Postby Pudge » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:53 pm

Illinois Senior
40: 5.28


Has nice size and will use it to get position as a run blocker. Takes nice angles to the ball. Flashes good mean streak, playing beyond the whistle at times and does a good job finishing his blocks. Shows some athleticism to adjust in space and peel back when pulling outside to allow the back to turn the corner. Has the size to engulf the linebacker on the second level and does a nice job squaring him and getting position. Sets up well with his hands high and tight in pass protection. Shows some ability to adjust to blitzers or stunting defenders off the edge.


Has a weak punch in pass protection and has to gear up to deliver it. Doesn't do a good job initiating contact in pass protection and tends to grab rather than punch. Will slide his feet, losing base off the edge, making him susceptible to the bull rush. Has trouble matching up with speed as he opens his stance too early. Plays a bit high considering his lack of ideal high. Lacks pop or power as a run blocker. Will take a false step and lacks real leg drive to get any movement in the ground game. Struggles to adjust to moving targets on the second level and doesn't really show the power to deliver a blow to the linebacker and move him downfield. Tends to lose his balance when he's asked to adjust in space.


Allen is a functional offensive tackle prospect that lacks ideal size and strength for the position. He played the weakside position in Illinois offense, similar to how Arkansas uses their tackles on either side of the line rather than a true left and a true right. But it made him the de facto left tackle. But he's a player that probably is a better fit moving inside and playing guard in a zone-blocking scheme. While he's not a bad player, there is really nothing about his game that stands out. He's more in line with the type of players that become career backups in the NFL.


(11/12) vs. Michigan: 2 pressures; Downfield: 3/5
(12/31) vs. UCLA: 1 missed block, 1 penalty (holding); Downfield: 1/2; Pull: 3/3


2011: /13 GS, weakside (left) tackle
2010: 13/13, weakside (left) tackle
2009: 12/12, left tackle
2008: 11/9, right tackle


The player that I think Allen might grow to be is a player like Wade Smith. Smith was a left tackle in college, got drafted in the 3rd round by the Dolphins in 2003, was forced to start as a rookie at left tackle when Mark Dixon got hurt. Smith was terrible, and then was soon after replaced and became a journeyman backup for teams like the Jets and Chiefs, logging reps at guard and center along the way. Then he managed to perform well in spot duty for the Chiefs, signed with the Texans in 2010 and has become a solid starter for them because he fits their scheme well. I think that's the sort of career path Allen could potentially hope for. He could become a utility player that I think has the tools to play all five positions, and like Smith will likely be a much better guard or center than a tackle. Another good comparison is Quinn Ojinnaka, although I think Ojinnaka is a better athlete. The key with Allen I think is going to be improving his hands. He'll never be a power player, but if he learns how to use his hands better to become a reliable technician, he can make up for it in many schemes like Smith has in Houston. For a zone team like the Texans, he can come in and if you can successful cross-train him to play multiple positions he can provide nice depth for you. Then by the time his rookie contract is up, you hope he's developed enough that he can fill in as a serviceable stopgap starter. Like Wade Smith, I don't see any teams committing to him long-term but for two or so years if he's starting left guard or what not, you can be content.


Quinn Ojinnaka, Rams.


Allen can add depth here in Atlanta, but unless the Falcons really commit to being a zone-blocking team on the level of Houston or Washington, it's hard to see him having much upside beyond providing depth. Potentially the ideal role for him is if the Falcons try to play him as a center as early as possible, so that potentially you could develop him as a nice insurance policy for two or three years down the road if Joe Hawley doesn't take off there as a successor to Todd McClure. He might make the Falcons roster as a rookie as the tenth man because the team is optimistic about his versatility. And if he proves capable of playing more than one position, that will be his best bet to crack the seven or eight-man rotation a year or two later. If not, then he'll be gone. But he's not really a viable option at left tackle, and there are much more physical players the Falcons have on the interior worth developing over him.


If a zone-blocking team is confident Allen can play more than one position, then he would potentially make a nice fifth or sixth round pick. But other than that, he's seventh round talent at best.

1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite

Strength: 5.5
Pass Blocking: 6.0
Run Blocking: 4.5
Footwork: 5.0
Technique: 5.0
Mobility: 6.5
Mean Streak: 7.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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