Scouting Report | Zach Allen, DL, Boston College


Personal Background

  • All-ACC Second Team, 2018
  • All-ACC Academic Football Team, 2018
  • All-ACC Honorable Mention, 2017
  • Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Achievement, 2015
  • All-FCIAC Honorable mention for Basketball in High School

Courtesy of Boston College Football.

Injury History

  • No significant injuries


  • Career high game vs Temple in 2018: 4 TFLs (8 total tackles), 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 pass deflections, and 1 QB hurry
  • Three consecutive seasons of double-digit tackles for loss (10, 15.5, 15) since 2016
  • 100 total tackles in 2017, second-most by a defensive lineman in the nation
  • 14 pass deflections since 2016
Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2015 Boston College ACC FR DE 2 1 1 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2016 Boston College ACC SO DE 10 19 17 36 10.0 6.0 0 0 0 4 2 0
*2017 Boston College ACC JR DE 13 47 53 100 15.5 4.0 1 0 0.0 0 3 0 0
2018 Boston College ACC SR DE 12 26 35 61 15.0 6.5 1 6 6.0 0 7 2 1
Career Boston College 93 106 199 40.5 16.5 2 6 3.0 0 14 4 1
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/6/2019.

Film Reviewed

  • Massachusetts (2018)
  • Holy Cross (2018)
  • Purdue (2018)
  • Miami (2018)
  • Virginia Tech (2018)

Combine Measurements and Testing

  • Height: 6’ 4-1/8”
  • Weight: 281 lbs
  • Hand: 10-1/8”
  • Arm: 34-6/8”
  • Wingspan: 79-7/8”


  • 40 Yard Dash: 5.0
  • Bench Press: 24
  • Vertical Jump: 32”
  • Broad Jump: 112” (9’4”)
  • 3-Cone: 7.34 sec
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.36 sec


  • Long arms on a less-defined frame. His body isn’t “chiseled,” but the muscle mass and density are there. He has good length for both a DE and DT. Overall, a solid athlete with a smooth first step, decent speed and short area quickness, and good lateral agility. His change of direction and ankle flexion hover between average to a little above average.
  • Played mostly as a 7- or 9-technique DE but has had successful snaps inside from virtually all positions.
  • Displays powerful hands with good technique in both the run and pass game. Possesses good upper body strength to keep angle, down, reach, and base blockers at bay by extending his arms. Will then tear or pull past them to engage the runner.

  • Plays with a strong anchor and decent pad level. Can stalemate double teams when facing them head-on, as well as consistently stalemate pull blockers on gap runs and set the edge against angle blocks on zone runs.
  • Has good leg drive when needed. Capable of resetting the line of scrimmage on short-yardage downs when he maintains a low pad level and times the snap well.
  • Showcases solid to good mental processing skills. Reads and reacts sufficiently on option and misdirection runs and is disciplined on the back side of plays, rarely caught off-guard. Quickly recognizes pulling linemen and will reposition himself to disrupt the play.

  • Shows solid competitive toughness and pursuit skills. Is a high-effort player while the ball is in the box. Will chase when the ball carrier is in his vicinity.
  • Solid overall as a pass rusher. Is proficient with chop, push-pull, and swipe moves. He also varies or counters his moves enough to indicate some level of planning. Achieves initial leverage on his fair share of snaps and shows enough bend and flexion to turn the corner when he beats the OT.

  • Displays sufficient ability to convert speed to power on bull rushes. Can compete with and affect average pass blockers.

  • Has the lateral agility to cross the face of linemen at the snap to pressure opposing gaps. Can be successful on slants and stunts along the line.


  • Limited athletically. Below average explosiveness and burst.
  • Doesn’t have the speed to catch ball carriers from behind unless he has a perfect angle.

  • Lacks the upfield burst needed to consistently beat offensive tackles around the corner. This sometimes prevents him from reaching the QB after gaining initial leverage with his hands. Athletic offensive tackles will recover more often than not against him.
  • Struggles to restart his rush if initially stopped. Often needs a couple of steps to regenerate momentum.

  • Although versatile and smooth with his hand on the ground, he’s uncomfortable rushing from a two-point stance and frequently false steps at the snap.


Zach Allen possesses the size and ability to play almost anywhere along the line of scrimmage. Both hybrid and 4-3 defenses will see him as a useful piece in their scheme since he fits as a 5- to 9-technique, strong-side defensive end, or as a one-gapping or two-gapping defender from the 2- to 4-techniques inside. His play strength, mental processing, and hand skills should allow him to contribute as a second or third-stringer his first season. With continued refinement of his hands, he’ll develop into a primary backup to low-level starter by his third year. If he works on his craft to the point he becomes a master technician, then he could break through that “low-level starter” ceiling.

The Boston College Eagle can stop the run and rush the passer competently to a point. He’ll be able to battle against a significant portion of NFL players. However, he’s an unspectacular athlete. That doesn’t mean he isn’t athletic; he meets all the movement thresholds. It means he won’t blow past blockers or terrorize offensive tackles with dizzying speed, and he likely won’t develop into anything more than a steady, solid player at best. But he’ll probably have a 10-plus year career as an unspectacular, yet underrated and valuable, contributor.

Ultimately, this New Canaan native is a third- or fourth-round prospect at the earliest, depending on how much teams value a player who can do a few things adequately over someone who does a single thing really well. He’s a prospect teams can win with from day one. Not everybody in the league is a speed demon or an athletic freak. Most rosters are filled with workman-like players who fill multiple roles in a non-flashy manner. These men are essential to a team’s success. That’s the value of a player like Zach Allen.


You can follow Allan on Twitter at @AllanUy22