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NFL Draft 2014: So You Drafted a Badger, Beau Allen Edition

Beau Allen didn't get invited to the NFL Combine, but that doesn't mean he isn't a sleeper.


Beau Allen wasn't invited to the 2014 NFL Combine. In fact, there are some who would say Allen is just as likely to be in the WWE with a developmental deal as the NFL three years from now.

But the fact of the matter is Allen should be drafted. If you do so, you're likely a 3-4 team. And if so, congratulations -- you got the glue to one of the best run defenses in college football last year. Any questions on your running game have been solved, and for the price of a day three pick to boot! Good job to your general manager.

Am I being hyperbolic? A little. But truth be told, if you've drafted Allen, you're going to get someone who had to face weekly double-teams in a conference that loved running the ball. Because he was so stout at the point of attack, the Badgers' run defense was completely dominant. Wisconsin was one of five teams that allowed eight rushing touchdowns, second-fewest in the nation, and four of them were to a future NFL running back in Arizona State's Marion Grice. The defense forced Ohio State into its worst regular-season rushing performance and held some strong statistical run offenses down.

Yes, the linebackers were great. But without Allen being the space-eater in the middle of the trenches and his functional strength at the point of attack, they sure as shooting would be less so. If you need that sort of value on your defense, you could do a lot worse than Allen.

But what if you drafted him for a 4-3 defense? Then you have someone who's shown some ability to collapse a gap. As a sophomore and junior, Allen generated 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks from the inside. So despite the lack of statistics as a nose tackle, if you draft Allen to be a one-gap defensive tackle, you've got something of a sleeper. I mean, his official 10-yard split time was 1.68 seconds at UW's pro day. That's a step slower than your freakish athletes. Heck, you have a 3-4 defensive tackle that manages to beat the double-team for 1.5 sacks? You have someone who can make a move or two on the pass rush.

So, long story short? You have someone who has a good motor, good pursuit and can attack a gap with power. He should be highly draftable, right? Well, for one thing, Allen's pass rush is basically trying to engulf a blocker in terms of a bull rush. As I've told you, it was reasonably effective as a Badger. But he doesn't have a second move, and with a level-up in competition coming, you have to wonder if there will be some questions about his ability to penetrate. Also, if you discuss his lateral agility, you're discussing something Allen either never had an opportunity to show or simply something he struggles with.

So basically, you're getting a defensive lineman who might be a little too straight-lineish, but he's a veteran whose shown great skills at holding up from the point of attack. If you're a 3-4 team with some good linebackers, Allen might be an absolute steal on the third day.

Heck, even if you're not, a Beau Allen draft pick has an opportunity to pay off handsomely.