2006 Draft Preview: S Jason Allen

Ryan Rigmaiden finishes up .NET's look at the safeties in April's NFL Draft by looking at Tennessee's Jason Allen who was a sure-fire first round prospect heading into the 2005 football season, but a hip injury sidelined him for all but five games last season. Regardless teams are intrigued by the former Volunteer playmaker and his stock is on the rise.

5. Jason Allen, CB/S Tennessee 6-0, 210 (4.40)

NFL Comparison – Keion Carpenter, Atlanta Falcons

Overview –

Experienced three-year starter suffered season ending hip injury this year and was lost for the season. Also had shoulder surgery following the 2003 season. Played both corner and safety for the Volunteers and was earning unanimous first round grades by most scouts before the injury last year. Ran well enough at the Combine and in personal workouts to show scouts that the hip injury is behind him, but the injury tag will follow him. Is a playmaker at both positions and hits hard. Has good size and athleticism, but needs some film work. Is much better in man-coverage at this point in time, but has the potential to be an elite NFL safety in all aspects of his game.

Against the Pass –

Has the speed and athleticism to match with most wideouts in man-coverage. Uses his frame well and can jump. Needs work in zone coverage as a safety, but did well as a cornerback. Gets his hands on receivers at the LOS and pushes them around.

Against the Run –

Fills lanes hard and can tackle from sideline-to-sideline. Is tough and isn't afraid to throw his body around. Takes good angles to the ball and is a reliable open-field tackler.

Roster Impact for Seattle –

If Seattle's front office can get past Allen's injury history, he'd be a great backup with the potential to start down the road. His versatility is also very attractive to the Hawks because he'd be able to play corner in sub packages.

Final Analysis –

If he can shake the injury bug, Allen has awesome NFL potential and would be as asset for any team. He's a good enough athlete that some Cover-2 teams will try him at corner with the ability to move him to safety if that doesn't work out. He's moving up boards right now because his personal workouts were very solid and he should be off the board by the end of the second round.

Best of the Rest

6. Daniel Bullocks, S Nebraska 6-0, 212 (4.40)

Smart; makes plays and is a three-year starter for the Cornhuskers. Had a good Senior Bowl and surprised coaches with how well he played. Has decent athleticism and is a natural leader. Better fit at strong safety. Currently making his way up draft boards.

7. Pat Watkins, S Florida State 6-4, 210 (4.55)

Has awesome size and can jump. Doesn't play as fast as his time indicates, but has good instincts and can get deep in zone coverage. Needs to add some weight, but works hard and should only get better. Should be a first day selection.

8. Cedric Griffin, S Texas 6-0, 190 (4.50)

Definitely has the ability to play CB, but he'd be a solid free safety for the ‘Hawks. Started since his sophomore year and has played well, even at strong safety. Strong tackler and has decent athleticism.

9. Darnell Bing, S USC 6-2, 220 (4.55)

Huge hitter and has impressive size. Makes wideouts hear footsteps and is always looking for the highlight-reel hit. A prototypical strong safety. Depending on who you talk to, Bing is earning anything from a first to fourth round grades at this point in time. However, it's hard for me to believe that he'll last past the second round.

10. Roman Harper, S Alabama 6-0, 200 (4.60)

Doesn't have great speed or athleticism, but Harper is instinctive, versatile (played both safety positions) and is durable. He works hard and should be a solid NFL backup.

11. Bernard Pollard, S Purdue
12. Greg Blue, S Georgia
13. Dawan Landry, Georgia Tech
14. Calvin Lowry, S Penn State
15. Marcus Hudson, S N.C. State

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

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