This morning we continue our series of scouting reports on potential Chicago Bears draft targets in this month’s 2017 NFL Draft as week take a look at Alabama’s Senior Defensive End, Jonathan Allen.
Player: Jonathan Allen
Position: Defensive end
Size: 6’3” and 286 pounds
The rumors are flying and the 2017 NFL Draft is right around the corner. The Chicago Bears still have a lot of decisions to make and questions to answer. Anything is on the table at this point, including who they will draft with the third overall pick. There has even been speculation that they could trade the pick if the players available aren’t to their liking. Again, anything can happen.
It’s a foregone conclusion that the Cleveland Browns will select Myles Garrett with the number one overall pick. Recently, there has also been reports stating that the San Francisco 49ers could trade the second overall pick so a team could select Solomon Thomas. If this happens the Bears will be in a very interesting situation.
As stated above, they could trade back, but a very good player will be available if everything goes as predicted. Alabama’s Jonathan Allen should be available when the Bears are on the clock. Allen won the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Award that goes to the nation’s best defender on the nation’s best defense. He led the team with 10.5 sacks and recorded 69 tackles in his final season at Alabama.
Quick Off The Ball: Getting off the ball fast is something elite pass rushers have to be able to do consistently. Allen does this at a very high level. His quickness allows him to utilize many different moves including a vicious bull rush. His quickness and wide variety of moves make it very difficult for the offense to recover.
Uses Hands Extremely Well: Allen uses accurate hand placement to control his opponents. Many young defensive linemen try to chop and slap, which creates more problems than not. Allen’s ability to use his hands in a controlled manner reflects his strong athleticism.
Diverse Background: When he first arrived at Alabama, Allen was a linebacker and it shows in his play. When Allen is open the field, he runs and hits like a linebacker. He shows off his diverse skill set when running backs fumble and when intercepting passes.
Play Style and Athleticism: As I stated above, Allen’s diverse background and unique skill set allow him to be a dominate force on defense. His play style reminds of J.J Watt or a young Julius Peppers. All three have long arms, natural bend, a strong base and outstanding instincts. Allen has flexible hips that allow him to make quick turns and change direction quickly.
Shoulder Issues and Arthritis: Teams are worried about Jonathan Allen’s shoulders and rightfully so. He had multiple surgeries in college and was diagnosed with arthritis in both shoulders. This could be a red flag for many NFL teams.
“Tweener”: Similar to Solomon Thomas, many analysts have labeled Allen as a “Tweener.” Though, he may be better suited in a 3-4 defense because he doesn’t fit the profile of a prototypical 4-3 defensive end. He could be a 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE. Not having a set position could cause some problems in the future.
Lack of Time On Field: NFL teams will want Allen to be on the field more than he was at Alabama. There, he was part of a rotation that allowed him to stay fresh and get plenty of rest throughout the game. To be a difference maker in the NFL, being on the field consistently is a necessity. It will be interesting to see how Allen makes that transition in the pros.
Allen is one of the best players in this year’s draft. However, his injury history is concerning for many NFL teams, including the Bears. Allen may fall in the draft because of his shoulder issues. No one truly knows where he’ll end up.
At this point, it seems like Allen will be chosen outside of the top ten. There are just more players without a shaky injury history that will be available. Personally, I believe either Allen or Solomon Thomas will drop in the draft. The drop will have something to do with which player is taken first.
The Bears have been rumored to be interested in trading back in the draft. If that happens, I can see them taking Allen. Selecting him with the third overall pick would be a stretch in my opinion.
Allen should be a solid defensive linemen in the NFL. It’s important that he goes to the right team and system, so he can maximize his skills.
Be on the lookout for more scouting reports this month as we near the April 27 NFL Draft!