Jonathan Allen Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Very fast interior defensive lineman
Closes on quarterbacks in a hurry
Repertoire of pass-rushing moves
Ability to shed blocks
Rare athletic skill set
Fast interior defender
Very strong at the point of attack
Can bull over offensive linemen
Speed to close
Powerful bull rush
Tough run defender
Hard to move at the point of attack
Athletic for his size
Skilled at batting passes
Carries weight well
Very strong for his size
Has experience lining up at a variety of spots
Successful against good competition
Ready to contribute immediately
Good off the field
Looks like a safe pick to plug in and contribute quickly
Doesn't get in trouble
Smart on and off the field
A little light for an interior defensive lineman in the NFL
Summary: I recapped over well over 100 games during the 2016 season, and in my opinion, Allen was the best player in college football during 2016. If the Heisman Trophy were a genuine award that actually went to the best player regardless of position, Allen should have won the award for his dominant 2016 season.
Allen could have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2015 as a junior, Allen played really well with 36 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes batted. He was the Crimson Tide's best defensive lineman and front seven defender, and the team won the National Championship thanks to that defense and its running game. Considering the front seven was comprised of early round talents like Reggie Ragland, A'Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Reuben Foster and Tim Williams, it is really saying something that Allen was the best among them. Allen totaled 33 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks on the year as a sophomore.
Allen has been even better as as a senior, dominating his opponents on a weekly basis. Entering the college football playoff, he has totaled 58 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, 8.5 sacks, two passes batted and one interception in 2016. That pick was returned 75 yards for a touchdown against Ole Miss. All season, Allen has been dominating at the point of attack. He is a tremendous interior pass-rusher and also causes havoc in run defense.
In the pass rush, Allen is tremendous. He is a fast defender at the point of attack with the ability to fire his gap. He uses his strength to shed blocks and can close in an instant on the quarterback. Allen has the burst to fire by guards into the backfield and the power to bull rush through linemen. He also has natural strength to manhandle offensive linemen and toss them to the side. Allen will then punish quarterbacks and put them into the turf. The senior has displayed excellent versatility during college in terms of rush production from a variety of positions and techniques. He was dangerous as an end or tackle. Allen is very consistent at putting heat on the quarterback.
Allen is very tough as a run defender, too. He fills his gap and is very hard to move at the line of scrimmage. Allen eats up his block and prevents holes from opening up. Regularly, you will see him shed his block to stuff a run near the line of scrimmage or fire into the backfield to disrupt a run off the snap. Allen is a well-balanced defender who is effective at limiting both the rushing offense and passing attack.
Sources say that Allen is a good kid off the field. He doesn't get in trouble, is smart and is a team leader. They really like him off the field.
For the next level, Allen fits any defense. His best fit could come as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. In a 4-3, he also could play end and move inside in passing situations. He also has the length to play end in a 3-4 defense.
For the NFL, Allen has great potential to be a superb defender in the mold of Ndamukong Suh or Aaron Donald. In the 2017 NFL Draft, Allen should hear his name called as a top-10 pick and likely a top-five selection.
Player Comparison: Aaron Donald. Some have compared Allen to Ndamukong Suh, which I think that is a fair comparison as well. I went with Donald because Donald and Allen are very similar in size and both are tremendous interior pass-rushers. Each was very consistent in college at getting to the quarterback with an excellent combination of strength and speed. Allen is also good off the field, like Donald, where as Suh can be selfish and bad news in the locker room. In the NFL, I think Allen will be a defensive lineman similar to Donald.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, Jacksonville, Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego and Arizona
In the first 10 picks of the 2017 NFL Draft, there are a lot of teams that could consider drafting Allen. With his versatility for a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, he fits just about any team.
The Browns could have two top-10 picks, and they could use more talent on their defensive line. They have some young edge rushers, but could use more talented youth on the inside and at five-technique defensive tackle.
The Jaguars' defense could be set for years to come with Allen rushing on the inside of Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue. Allen could be a difference-maker in Jacksonville.
If the Bears can't get a quarterback, Allen could be in play for them. With Eddie Goldman at nose tackle, Allen could be an impactful five-technique and would give the Bears a talented front seven with Leonard Floyd, Willie Young and Danny Trevathan.
The Saints need to improve their pass defense. Even though they drafted an interior disruptor in Sheldon Rankins last year, Allen could go with him on the inside to get after quarterbacks.
San Diego could use more defensive line talent across from Corey Liuget. Many thought the Chargers would take DeForest Buckner last year, and Allen could be an upgrade at five-technique for San Diego.
Arizona could lose Calais Campbell in free agency, and Allen would be a tremendous addition for the Cardinals if he gets to their pick.