Examining the medical factor

Ideally, your No. 1 draft pick would have no off-the-field issues whatsoever and never would have suffered an injury at any point during his football career. But in the case of Jason Allen, there is an injury in his past, his recent past, and it's a rather significant injury at that. Allen showed at the Scouting Combine he had recovered sufficiently enough from his dislocated hip to run a 4.39 40, but the medical questions nonetheless have come up.

Dolphins coach Nick Saban was prepared to answer those questions as he talked to the media following the selection of Allen, and he didn't even wait to be asked to bring up the topic.

"I want to say that our medical staff here, I'm talking about the doctors and the trainers, did a fantastic job of getting outstanding information for us so that we could put a medical risk on this guy that we would feel comfortable in the position that we're in being able to select him," Saban said.

Saban proceeded to mention examples of former college stars who failed some teams' medical check-ups before the draft, only to go on and have successful careers.

One of those was Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who was red-flagged by some teams before the 2003 draft because of concussion issues. Or Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels, whom Saban said was medically failed by six or eight teams.

The injury Allen sustained last October, according to Saban, was similar to one suffered by Chiefs running back Priest Holmes a few years back. Holmes bounced back from that injury to have a few productive seasons.

"You never know what's going to happen in the future," Saban said, "but we feel good about Jason Allen's prognosis for this year as a player because he's worked out for every team. He ran a 4.39 at the Combine. He worked out for us. He worked out for me personally in Tennessee and has not had any problems. So we feel good about that. We feel good about the fact that this should be not be a recurring problem."

Allen, for his part, says he's 100 percent and the injury is not an issue in the least.

"The hip is not an issue," Allen said. "If we had to go today, I'd be ready to go today."

The bottom line is that, yes, it would be perfect if Allen had never been hurt in college. But the Dolphins wouldn't have drafted him if they thought his hip was likely to become a problem in the near future.

Obviously, there are no guarantees in the NFL. Just think back to Yatil Green, the 1997 first-round pick.

He didn't have injury issues when he joined the Dolphins, but he tore an ACL in his rookie training camp, tore an ACL again the next year and never contributed.

So, again, you never know. What the Dolphins do know is that they're satisfied with Allen's recovery from the hip injury.

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