Isn't a real explosive pass rusher, needs to do a better job getting off the snap count on time and keeping his pad level down into contact. Allows himself to get upright easily and lacks the type of burst to threaten the corner. Is at his best when asked to get into blocks and use his hands and long arms to disengage and fight his way up field. Has improved his overall suddenness on his inside move and does a better job setting up offensive tackles on his up and under move compared to last season. However, still struggled with his pad level when trying to make a man miss.
Impression: Possesses a strong, long frame with the ability to anchor and fight his way through blocks, but doesn't have the type of explosive element or suddenness to ever be much of a playmaker in the NFL. More of a rotational DE who should be able to make an NFL roster."
Run Defense: Capable run defender on the strong side of the formation, though he relies on his quickness instead of strength. Keeps his eyes in the backfield, keeping his distance from his blocker and waiting for backs to make their decision and then making his move. Chases down backs from behind or to the sideline with hustle and straight-line speed. Generally assignment-sure, but gets caught inside and fails to hold containment at times. Lacks great strength to dominate and disengage from tackles at the line of scrimmage. Can move with his block towards the play to prevent cutback lanes, but is also walked off the line with regularity.
Explosion: Inconsistent getting off the snap quickly, often is the last player in motion. Forces tackles upfield with a fair first step but won't threaten the edge against NFL tackles. Some pop when punching on initial contact with the tackle but is far from dominating.
Strength: Well-built player with a strong punch. Stacks the tackle to move with the block to stay in the play. Does not disengage often enough, however, to make tackles because he gets too far into his man and does not use his hands well. Needs to work on collapsing the pocket with a bull rush using his strength.
Tackling: Solid, not explosive, tackler because of his length and ability to change direction in space. Moves well laterally to corral elusive runners on the outside, defeats stiff arm with his own length and strength. Good straight-line speed, hustle to either sideline if unblocked or if he is free when runner comes to his side of the field. Latches onto running backs with his long arms but he will be carried a few yards. Needs to get lower and strike ballcarriers at the next level or else he will miss many tackles.
Intangibles: Mature player who is married with a young child. Willing to take on a leadership role in his senior season. Fought through minor knee injury against Iowa State and turf toe suffered late in 2009 season. No known character concerns."
Positive: Adequately sized speed rusher who makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Quick changing direction, fluid moving in every area of the field, and shows the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack then make plays down the line. Displays good speed and strings plays out laterally pursuing to the flanks. Effectively uses his hands to protect himself and nicely redirects to ball carriers. Fast off the edge and displays good pass rushing speed.
Negative: Lacks strength at the point of attack, runs around blocks, and can be controlled at the point once engaged with an opponent. Lacks top first-step quickness.
Analysis: Allen was a good player in the Nebraska scheme but has not proven to be much more than a speed rusher. He lacks growth potential but should find a home as a backup in a conventional four-man line."
Negatives: Does not bend especially well... Not real explosive or sudden... Marginal flexibility... Plays too high... Does not possess explosive burst off the ball... Somewhat stiff change of direction agility... Would be best off adding 10-15 lbs... Needs to improve maintaining containment... Production declined with Ndamukong Suh moving on to the NFL."
Strengths: Tough and versatile. Really came on his senior season. Hard-working and relentless. Very good against the run. Strong and can hold the point, and sheds well. Honors his responsibilities and assignments. Accountable. Can play DE in a 4-3 and OLB in a 3-4. Power pass rusher who can collapse the pocket.
Weaknesses: Lacks quick-twitch explosion and elite athleticism. Maxed out physically. Lacks size for a base 4-3 DE, and not accustomed to LB responsibilities.
Projection: Tough defender should be a late-round pick. Should word his way onto a roster as a backup/special teamer."
As a sophomore Allen started the year on the bench, but was forced into a starting role when starter Barry Turner went out with a broken leg. That made Allen start the final 11 games of the season and he helped propel what was a pretty bad Nebraska defense a year ago into a solid unit. In the end, Allen tallied an impressive 52 tackles, 10.0 tackles-for-loss and 5.0 sacks during the 2008 campaign. In 2009 Allen stepped right back into his starting role and totaled 51 tackles, 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 5.0 sacks and eight quarterback hurries despite battling nagging injuries for most of the season.
Allen finished up the regular season during his senior campaign with similar numbers and his consistency has been a quite remarkable. After gaining some national attention by making the All-Big 12 First Team, Allen's stocking is slowly moving up. He may not be the quickest or strongest end in this class, but Allen is an experienced end who has proven that he can make plays."
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