Nice size and strength to block at line of scrimmage
Will need to continue to improve blocking in the NFL
Receiving ability is further along than blocking ability
Lacks elite speed
Summary: Allen, coming off an excellent junior season, currently is the top tight end in the 2012 NFL Draft class. Clemson underutilized Allen, but he still proved to be one of the top tight ends in college football. He was capable of producing more, but Clemson did not work the ball enough to him. He caught 50 receptions for 598 yards and eight scores in 2011. However, he was a quality run blocker for the Tigers, and aided in opening up holes for running back Andre Ellington.
What makes Allen the top tight end in the 2012 class is the passing dimension he is projected to bring to an NFL offense. He is a dangerous receiver. He beats linebackers and defensive backs with surprising quickness and good route-running. While he gets separation routinely, Allen is fabulous at going up and snaring high passes over defenders.
Allen also has good bulk to be a blocker in the NFL. While he is a not a road-grading ground presence, he is a solid blocker who should become a reliable contributor in the running game. Allen looks like a complete NFL tight end who would excel as a red-zone weapon, a third-down target and a good blocker.
Allen does not have elite speed for the position like the 49ers Vernon Davis. He also doesn't look like as dominant a receiving tight end like the Saints' Jimmy Graham or the Patriots' Ron Gronkowski. Still, Allen should be a very good NFL tight end and a potential Pro Bowler.
Player Comparison: Jermaine Gresham. Allen's game is similar to Cincinnati's starting tight end. Gresham (6-5, 260) was the Bengals' first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft. Allen may not go as high as Gresham did, but he shouldn't go much later. Allen looks like a late-first round or early second-round pick. Both Gresham and Allen are dangerous red-zone weapons who combine blocking ability with good receiving skills.
NFL Matches: Buffalo, Kansas City, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, New York Giants
There are a plethora of teams that could be fits for Allen. With the effectiveness of double tight end sets, teams that already have a good tight end could consider Allen. Bills' tight end Scott Chandler is entering free agency, and Buffalo could use a receiving tight end even if it re-signs Chandler. The Chiefs had hopes for Tony Moeaki, but he's had a hard time staying healthy. Allen could fix the position for Kansas City. The Chargers are going to have to find a long-term replacement for Antonio Gates, and Allen would be a great heir apparent with the way he could fit San Diego's offense.
Atlanta has to replace Tony Gonzalez in the long-term, but Allen isn't going to reach their second-round pick so they would have to trade up to get him. Denver needs a tight end that can exploit some favorable matchups. Allen would be excellent for the Broncos, but they will have to trade up from their second-rounder to land him unless they want to use their first-round pick on him. A team that could take Allen in the first round is the Giants, as Jake Ballard tore his ACL in the Super Bowl.