Back Jonathan Allen Slides Into Home

Back To SEC

Jonathan Allen Slides Into Home

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

History may prove that Jonathan Allen, at 17, was the pick of the draft.

Simply put, Jonathan Allen dominated college football, and did so by every measure. He went 51-6 during his Alabama career, won a national championship and three SEC titles, swept the Bednarik, Hendricks and Nagurski Awards as a senior and was a permanent Crimson Tide team captain. Allen left Tuscaloosa, with a bachelor's degree in financial planning and consumer affairs, as one of the truly-notable players in league history.

Despite potential top five projections, Allen fell to the 17th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Given his resume, the slide is a startling one.

Allen compiled 22.5 sacks over his final two college seasons, a total that topped both Myles Garrett (21) and Solomon Thomas (11.5), taken first and third, respectively. Allen's 69 total tackles this past year were more than twice as many as Garrett (33). His 15 quarterback hurries were more than twice as many as Thomas (7). Additionally, Allen recovered three fumbles, scored two defensive touchdowns, blocked a kick and had, perhaps, the defensive play of the year on a "Superman" tackle of Trevor Knight. .

That influence, sometimes off the edge, sometimes at the point of attack, helped Alabama accomplish a truly remarkable feat; the Crimson Tide led the nation in both rush defense and sacks in both 2015 and 2016. 

As a prospect, Allen measured in at the NFL Combine at a rock-solid 6'3'', 286 pounds. He, with a clear ability to play both end and tackle, is the most-versatile of the incoming defensive lineman, in addition to being the most accomplished. Alabama, based on down-and-distance situations, utilized Allen a variety of different ways across its vaunted three-man front. As league teams seemingly place more of an emphasis on positional flexibility, Allen certainly fits that bill.  

Though Allen was drafted lower than most expected, the silver lining is burgundy and gold; a northern Virginia-native who was the state Gatorade Football Player of the Year in 2012, Allen was selected by the Washington Redskins, his hometown team.

Allen will become a foundational piece for Washington defensively, a building block the Redskins probably didn't expect to be on the board when they, given their draft slotting, were scheduled to be on the clock. Expect Allen to undoubtedly play with a chip on his shoulder, but also, having beamed in interviews about the opportunity to go back to the D.C. area, with a very real appreciation for where he is. Happy and hungry, Allen is poised for more success.

History may prove that Allen was the pick of the draft. The Redskins got a great player, while Allen got a promotion that takes him full-circle.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports