Allen’s frame and prodigious power suggest he’ll have no trouble transitioning to a starting role in 2017. Few players in college football were more explosive after the snap than the Alabama lineman, who careened into backfields and commanded double teams in his final two collegiate seasons. He can work over the center as a nose tackle or on the edge as a defensive end, using his strength and footwork to smother the pocket from several different angles.
He has a strong punch after the snap that drives blockers backward and creates avenues to leak into the backfield. He also reads plays well, allowing him to disengage once he identifies the play and slide laterally to attack ball carriers as they near the line of scrimmage. He’s good at finishing big plays once he sniffs them out, using an extra gear to drag quarterbacks to the turf.
He’s a dogged pursuer against the run who will relentlessly chase plays and make an impact even when teams game plan around him. That versatility could make him a three-down player in the NFL. He should be up to the task — he answered any questions about his conditioning last fall after recording nearly 750 snaps for Alabama.
All in all, Allen is a solid defensive lineman who grew exponentially as a college player and is now versatile enough to hold down several different roles on the defensive line. Washington is getting a player who blows up running lanes in the middle of the field and wraps up running backs. They’re also getting a defensive end who can collapse the pocket from the edge and make quarterbacks panic.