Buck Allen Player Evaluation

Scout's Dave-Te Thomas breaks down USC running back Buck Allen.

Javorius Allen has very good pick-&-vision ability and does a nice job of sliding through the hole, but is more of a between-the-tackles type, as he has only average acceleration and long speed. He will rely more on power to gain yardage after initial contact rather than utilizing his hip swerve and wiggle to elude. He runs over his feet with good base and balance.

Allen sets up his blocks well, has above average field vision and displays a natural feel for the running lanes, generating a good surge to move the pile. He is more nimble than elusive, preferring to use his pile moving ability to gain additional yardage. He hits the holes with good force. He stays at a low pad level and knows how to lower a shoulder to push the defender out when going up the crease.

Allen gets very good success when he uses a good stiff arm and his upper body power to beat arm tackles while maintaining good ball security heading up the gut. He might deliver a fancy head fake or shoulder shake to escape a first level defender, but despite his timed speed, he’s not really effective bouncing to the corner and finding daylight for a big run.

The Trojan needs to show better lateral range in this area, but is very productive as a downhill type. He demonstrates good balance, and nifty pick-&-slide agility, as he seems decisive locating cutbacks. He’s become much more effective since he learned how to pick his way through trash (was susceptible to low tackles at the feet earlier in 2013). He runs behind his pads with above average power.

Allen knows how to power it up the gut. He does a nice job of keeping his pads down at initial contact and has the leg drive to run over second level defenders. His lower leg drive lets him “thump it up” when having to move the pile, showing the body control to easily stiff arm without having to rebuild his acceleration after the hit. He’s a “meat-&-potatoes” runner – nothing fancy and takes what the defense gives.

Allen has good hands to catch outside his frame. They have only adequate width, but does a nice job settling underneath and can easily turn and run over smaller opponents in attempts to separate and gain additional yards after the grab. With his speed, he can create mismatches flexed out wide vs. corners and safeties.

Used mostly as a check-down receiver, Allen is capable of swinging out of the backfield for the extended pluck and also has good ability for settling under screens. He has even had success when lined up as a bubble receiver on those screens. He runs sharp routes underneath and catches in stride without having to rebuild his acceleration.

NFL Scouting Combine measurables

6-0/221 (4.53 forty)
31 3/4-inch arm length
9 3/8-inch hands
11 reps
35.5-inch vertical jump
121-inch broad jump
6.96 3 cone drill
4.28 20 yard shuttle

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.


Prospects by: OVERALL RANK | Position | College | Home State | Name

Related: NFL Scouting Combine Coverage

Scout NFL Network Top Stories