The 2014 NFL Draft is almost here, which means it's time to take a look at one last former Badger football player who is hoping to hear his name called sometime between May 8 and 10.
So far I've profiled Chris Borland, Jared Abbrederis, Ryan Groy, James White, Dezmen Southward and Jacob Pedersen. Beau Allen is the last one up, and he's hoping to be drafted despite not receiving an invitation to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
Not receiving an invite to the combine is far from the end of the world for a draft hopeful. There are always players who get drafted in the mid-to-late rounds who weren't a part of the spectacle in Indianapolis. But missing out on the combine does put more emphasis on a player's pro day performance and any meetings they have with teams. If those go well a combine snub might be little more than a blip on the radar.
A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Allen never missed a game during his four-year career with the Badgers. He stepped into more of a play-making role as a 4-3 defensive tackle in 2011, when he tallied 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks as a sophomore. He boosted his tackles for loss to 7.5 in 2012 as a junior, but his production tailed off a bit as a senior. That's not necessarily his fault: Allen was converted into a 3-4 nose guard in Gary Andersen and Dave Aranda's defense, where he was asked to demand double teams instead of rush the passer. Allen was a consensus All-Big Ten honorable mention in his final two years on campus.
Final stat line: 54 games played, 26 starts, 94 total tackles, 15 TFLs, 8 sacks, 3 passes defensed
Pro Day Measurables
Weight: 333 pounds
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 30 (7th among combine DTs)
Arm Length: 32.125 inches
Hands: 10.125 inches
40-Yard Dash: 5.25
Vertical Jump: 31 inches
Allen has good size for a 3-4 nose tackle; that's part of the reason why the Badgers were able to switch to an odd front in Andersen's first year on campus. He takes up enough space to clog running lanes and draw a double team from the offensive line. Allen has the right mental makeup for the position, too, on top of being strong enough to compete with offensive linemen in the trenches. Allen should get credit for his durability, too.
Allen didn't bring much to the table as a pass rusher, either as a 4-3 defensive tackle or in his new position. If he goes to a 3-4 team that might not be a huge issue, but long-term NFL players need to be more than just a body on the defensive line. And while Allen didn't miss a game with the Badgers, he's had his fair share of work done. Allen has had surgery on his ankles before, and didn't do a full workout at his pro day while he recovered from a hamstring injury.
Potential Landing Spots
The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers could all use help on the defensive line- specifically at defensive tackle.
John's final take:
Allen is probably going to be selected late on the third day of the draft, or else he'll sign as an undrafted free agent. If he's able to stick on a roster he could return some value for a team- people aren't built like him all the time. To stick in the NFL in the long term it would help if he could add some more value as a pass-rusher, though.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need depth and youth on their defensive line. When you combine that with their three picks in the last three rounds and the fact that Pittsburgh brought Allen in for a private workout, I think that makes a match.
Sixth Round to the Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 192 overall.
John Veldhuis covers Wisconsin football, basketball and recruiting for BadgerBlitz.com on the Rivals.com network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnVeldhuis.