Chiefs Go Small To Draft Big

In the NFL Draft you can never turn over enough stones in searching for good players. When Kansas City came up to make their selection in the seventh round, they uncovered a mighty big rock in Spokane, Washington, hiding Whitworth College tight end Michael Allan.

At first glance, Allan's bio reveals only that he was a small college player at a Division III school in the Pacific Northwest. Not many from that level have made the jump to the NFL, but the Chiefs strongly believe that Allan will do just that.

Allan wasn't fazed when going up against Division I talent at the Senior Bowl this offseason. In fact, he held his ground. Chiefs Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich noticed.

"When your talking about a small college player, you want to see him in a environment against bigger schools," said Kuharich. "We got that opportunity at the East-West Game."

"You get a sense that the game is too big for certain players. They come down from a small school and they just don't match up physically. When he was down there, if you didn't know what school he was from you wouldn't know he wasn't a major collge player."

The task before the Chiefs now is to get Allan up to speed. It's one thing to jump from a Division III school to the Senior Bowl. It's even more difficult to make the transition to catching passes from an NFL quarterback.

But from all accounts, he has the tools. Allan had an impressive career average of 18.7 yards per catch and hauled in a school-record 29 touchdowns in his four-year career at Whitworth.

"We felt that we were getting a very productive player late in the draft," said Kuharich.

How productive Allan will be in the NFL remains to be seen, but when you stand 6-foot-6 and you can catch the ball in open space, make adjustments for errant passes and find the end zone, you will get your shot in the NFL.

PRE-DRAFT EVALUATIONS
Positives - Nice sized pass-catching tight end with a developing game. Quickly releases off the line, finds the open spot on the field and offers the quarterback a nice target. Consistent hand-catcher who extends to make the reception away from his frame and flashes the ability to split the seam.

Negatives - Marginal blocker who does not get the results he should.

Analysis - Dominating at a lower level of competition. Allan has the production, size and speed to be a late-round pick. May need time to adjusting to the big leagues yet has the tools to be productive NFL tight end.

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