NFL defenses typically use both 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes, or some hybrid of both (see: Julius Peppers and the "elephant" position for the Green Bay Packers this upcoming season). Beau Allen's played in both, and he prepared for both throughout his NFL Draft workouts. It's paid off, as the three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the draft on Saturday.
Allen experienced the 4-3 scheme and played defensive tackle in three of his four seasons under former defensive coordinator Chris Ash, and played last year under Dave Aranda's 3-4 defense as a nose guard. Along with Ethan Hemer, who per Tom Mulhern is signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent, Allen has a chance to be among handful of former Badgers defensive linemen to produce on Sundays.
|WISCONSIN DEFENSIVE LINEMEN IN THE NFL|
|PLAYER||ROUND / TEAM||NFL SEASONS / NOTABLE STAT||NOTES|
|J.J. Watt||1st, 2012 / Houston Texans||3 seasons / 217 career tackles, 36.5 sacks, 27 passes defended||2 straight Pro Bowls|
|Nick Hayden||6th, 2008 / Carolina Panthers||5 seasons (29 career starts) / 97 career tackles, 2 sacks||16 starts for Dallas Cowboys in 2013|
|Erasmus James||1st, 2005 / Minnesota Vikings||4 seasons / 37 career tackles, 5 sacks|
|Jonathan Welsh||5th, 2005 / Indianapolis Colts||2 seasons / 4 career tackles|
|Anttaj Hawthorne||6th, 2005 / Oakland Raiders||2 seasons / 10 career tackles|
|Jason Jefferson||6th, 2005 / New Orleans Saints||4 seasons / 25 career tackles|
Obviously, the most famous Badgers defensive end is J.J. Watt, who's taken the NFL by storm in his first three seasons. But Nick Hayden's played on three teams in five seasons, serving as a solid starter on last year's Cowboys team. He also started at least 10 games in two of his five NFL seasons.
One interesting tidbit is that four UW defensive linemen were drafted in the same year (2005). The quartet of Erasmus James, Jonathan Welsh, Anttaj Hawthorne and Jason Jefferson didn't necessarily contribute much at the professional level, but it is impressive that an entire defensive line's worth of Badgers was drafted in one year alone.
Aside from Allen's knowledge of the major defensive schemes seen in today's NFL, he's also highly underrated in his physical tools. He impressed scouts and personnel at Wisconsin's pro day. putting up 30 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press and jumping 31 inches in the vertical jump. This after being snubbed out of an invitation to the NFL Combine in February, though he told B5Q a couple of weeks ago how that may have been a blessing in disguise.
Allen goes to the Eagles, who play a 3-4 defense. He should compete for a roster spot and a chance for playing time as a nose guard with Bennie Logan as the incumbent starter. Philadelphia's defense is anchored by linebackers Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans. They ranked 29th in total defense -- last against the pass but 10th against the run -- but added Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith in the first round of the NFL Draft and veteran Malcolm Jenkins in free agency (side note: they also signed former Badger safety Chris Maragos this spring as well).
As seen below, Beau Allen is ready for Philadelphia, but is Philadelphia ready for Beau Allen?
Already feelin the love from Philly, someone get me a cheese steak!— Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) May 10, 2014