"Jason Allen is a first-day guy if he checks out healthy," noted one NFL scout in a recent interview. "He'll hit you. He's a playmaker. He has long arms and leaping ability. His strength is he makes plays on the ball. He's a tall (6-2), smooth athlete. I love the way he fills the hole hard against the run."
Allen would an intriguing pick-up for the Cowboys for several reasons.
For starters, he has the ability to play both as a cornerback and as a free safety. While the Cowboys aren't necessarily in the market for another cover corner, the team is in desperate need of a quality free safety.
Allen also has first-round talent- displaying excellent athleticism and burst to the ball for a defensive back over six feet tall.
However his durability is somewhat of an issue after he suffered a dislocated left hip early in his senior season against SEC-rival Georgia. Only recently have scouts felt comfortable with that injury and the recovery process.
In fact, it was his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that really started his climb of many draft boards when he was timed at 4.44 in the 40-yard dash.
Allen is one of many prospects eligible for the 2006 NFL Draft who will be in Dallas both Monday and Tuesday of next week. The former Tennessee standout will also visit with the Colts, Ravens, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Jets, Steelers and Chargers.
Scout.com currently rates Allen as the No. 5 overall safety prospect available for the 2006 NFL Draft. And while the hip injury remains a concern, Allen would offer tremendous value in the second round.
Full Name: Jason Allen School: Tennessee Pos: S
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 209 40: 4.43 Year: 4Sr
Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors as a junior. Played in five games last year totaling 35 tackles before being sidelined with a hip injury. Junior totals were 123/2/7 when he led the conference in tackles.
Pos: Versatile defensive back who can be used at safety or cornerback. Displays outstanding footwork in all directions, is fluid transitioning to run with opponents and quickly breaks to the action. Instinctive, quickly locates the pass and positions himself to defend the throw. Physical and works hard for 60 minutes.
Neg: Lacks top-end speed and the ability to mirror defenders down the field. Does a bit of grab tackling.
Analysis: Productive the past three seasons, Allen has a polished game and offers starting possibilities at several positions. A first-round prospect until his injury last year, Allen is a quality player who will be a steal in round two.