Defensive Tackle | Jonathan Allen

One of the best players in the 2017 NFL draft is defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. The 6’3″ 291 pound beast has put up some eye popping statistics while in Tuscaloosa. He played all four years, but he really had to wait for his moment to shine. In all, he has appeared in 50 games, racking up 78 solo tackles, 152 total tackles, and a whopping 44.5 tackles for loss. For most of his career at Alabama, he was a relief player to A’shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed. But even when they were on the team, Allen still got his because he could rush the passer. Allen compiled 28.5 sacks in four seasons, which ranks him second all time in Alabama history, only behind Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.

The captain of the Crimson Tide was one of the most decorated players in 2016; he brought home the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik award, the Ted Hendricks award, the Lombardi award, and even finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting.

I would be surprised to see his name still on the board when the Bills pick at 10, but if he is he would be hard to pass up. I was watching film on linebacker Reuben Foster, the 2016 Dick Butkus award winner (nation’s best linebacker) and likely a top 15 pick, and saw him use his speed to stay over the top of the offensive linemen, allowing him to make the play along the perimeter. Then I asked myself, how the hell was Foster not blocked? Well, the answer was because the nation’s best defensive player kept Foster clean.

It’s 1st and 10 and Alabama is in an odd front with Allen at a 4i alignment. The Trojans call an outside zone run. On this play the left guard and left tackle are supposed to combo block to the second level backer. It’s a double team that eventually leads to the guard overtaking the defender — Allen, on this play — allowing the tackle to climb to the second level to pick up Foster.

 

On the snap, Allen shows why he will most likely be drafted top ten in this draft. He is not only quick off the snap, but he also leads with his hands, is much lower than the two offensive lineman, and generates power on contact by uncoiling his hips.

After you hit play, click the – sign to watch it in slow motion.

 

Allen is so fast off the snap and so good with his hand placement that he gets up under the pads of the left tackle, the very same guy that is supposed to block Foster.

 

Getting leverage and control is the name of the game in the trenches, and that is where Allen is dominant! The senior has the strength and anchor to control both the left guard and the left tackle with each arm, all while trying to maintain leverage on the ball.

He never takes his eyes off of the ball.

 

What you see below is the tackle trying to rip through to climb to Foster . . . yeah, that’s not happening. Part of a defensive tackle’s job is to occupy and not let offensive linemen ‘scoop’ to the second level to block the linebackers. How do you think Allen scored on the test?

 

This allows Foster, a rangy linebacker, to remain clean and only have to focus on leveraging the ball carrier.

 

Allen and Foster disengage and pursue the running back, and the hit is VICIOUS! Reuben Foster finished the 2016 season with 115 total tackles, 94 of which came against the run, which led the talented ‘Bama defense. But much of his success was due to the talented Jonathan Allen. This kid will absolutely be a star.

 


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