A Look At 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Dejon Allen As A Potential Selection By The Detroit Lions
Dejon Allen’s Size Limits Potential
There is no getting around the fact that Dejon Allen’s size is a big factor in his valuation. At 6’3″, 290 lbs, he is really light for a lineman in the NFL. He doesn’t look like he has great arm length on tape either. Overall power to anchor or drive block does not appear to be there. Will need to work on pad level immediately upon entering the league. If you have already have size issues and strength issues, coming out of your stance high will be very hard to overcome when combined with his other issues.
Fortunately, pad level is something that is correctable. But, it is important he adds as much weight onto his frame as he can without sacrificing what truly makes him special, his freakish athletic ability and how he uses it in space.
Why Allen Is Worth The Late Round Draft Pick
From top to bottom, there are very few lineman who can make the plays that Allen can. His ability to pull and lead block can really leave you in awe. He is constantly churning his feet on the ground game, making him a hard lineman to knock off balance. Physical nature and core strength allowed Allen to play above his weight well. Killed it in the screen game due to ability to track really well in open space.
However, his best tape comes in pass protection. His quick feet make him really hard to defeat with a stunt or blitz. Can stay with quick penetrators and athletic blitzing linebackers. Quick hands allows him to reset easily if beaten on initial contact. His hands are also really strong and can make it hard for defenders to escape once he does get inside their frame. His versatility is something that likely would be coveted by Lions general manager Bob Quinn.
One of the biggest attributes Quinn has brought to this team is almost exclusively adding players who can do mutliple things or play multiple positions. This trait has been a high priority for new Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Spending time at all three offensive line positions gives Allen that sort of versatility. While his size certainly is limiting, the Lions may be wise to add a player like him with one of their last two picks. He would not be drafted to start, but rather provide the team with a quality pass blocking backup, that can play any line position in a pinch.