Jonathan Allen may have been the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft – if not for Myles Garrett or Solomon Thomas. The defensive lineman’s versatility is going to pay off for the team that makes him their first pick. The big question is where he will play in the NFL.
Allen, a three-year starter, and three-time first team All-SEC pick is considered the most NFL-ready defensive linemen in the 2017 NFL Draft. A few intangibles place him slightly below Garrett and Solomon in this draft class.
The 6-foot-3, 291-pound lineman recorded 69 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks last season, along with two fumble returns for a touchdown, earning him the Bronko Nagurski Trophy last season as the nation’s best defensive player.
In this player profile, we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of Allen as he moves on to the next level. We also include a few teams that will be interested in adding help to their defensive line.
Jonathan Allen might be best suited as a five technique in a 3-4 defense. Especially, given his ability to crash rushing lanes and get to quarterbacks on third downs. Additionally, his elite hand strength and usage is Allen’s bread and butter. Consequently, this allows him to effectively set the edge and keep blockers off his body.
He has the agility to become a solid run stuffer as well. The best thing about his game is his quickness off the snap and his forward pursuit. He sheds blockers well and is able to finish plays with power.
There is plenty of talk about his shoulder, which could present a challenge further into his career. In fact, he does not have a natural position in some teams’ eyes might be a hindrance. Allen lacks the speed necessary to track down ball carriers turning the corner.
Jonathan Allen lacks ideal height and length for an edge defender.
Teams That Could Show Interest
San Francisco (2nd overall), Chicago Bears (3rd), Jacksonville (4th), New York Jets (6th overall), Carolina Panthers (8th overall), Cincinnati Bengals (9th overall).