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Jeff Allen, NFL Draft 2012: Big Guard Who Doesn't Play Big

Allen could be one of the most underrated players in the 2012 draft if you're looking for a offensive lineman with potential. While the rest of the NFL world goes gaga over stunning combine numbers from Cordy Glenn, or the size of Kelechi Osemele, it's Illinois' Jeff Allen who has the ability to be the best of the bunch, and he's not getting much fanfare. For his college career Allen played right tackle for the Illini, but there's no doubt he's better suited in the middle. This seems to be a common theme for many of the offensive lineman in this draft class. As it pertains to Allen he has decent foot-speed, and a great pass blocker- but don't expect him to be a road grader for Michael Turner.

Looks more comfortable from a two-point stance getting downhill and coming off the football. Works hard to stick through contact, extends his arms well, generates a slight pop and can turn defenders away from the play. However, allows himself to get upright into contact and doesn't create the leverage needed to consistently overwhelm. More of a sticky player than explosive power/in-line guy. Can be overwhelmed at times on contact when a smaller defender can get under him and will set the edge. Is quick off the snap, can get around on reach blocks and does a nice job sealing on the perimeter. Plays more like a finesse guy than his frame would lead you to believe.

National Football Post

As I watched more tape on Allen I saw the same thing- he's not a power blocker, despite being over 310 lbs. He's far more accustomed to working his stance and keeping guys in place, rather than bowling them over. In a West Coast Offense I could see Allen being a very good guard in an offense that leans heavily on quick passes, but I'm not sure he's the right fit in Atlanta. I say this mainly because he's a big time project who will take some time and patience, and I get the sense the Falcons need help immediately.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.