By John Moore
Jonathan Allen Drops to #17, Big win for the Redskins
As a die-hard Redskins fan, I never thought (prayed) that Jonathan Allen would fall as far back in the draft like he did. I wanted him last year when he declared for the 2016 draft but later went back to finish college. The arrival of Allen is a sweet homecoming for the former Crimson Tide who grew up playing High School football just five miles from Redskins Park in Ashburn, and was also a Redskins fan. He admitted that when the Redskins appeared on the board to pick, he was hoping that Washington would be the one to get him on the stage with a No. 1 jersey.
Allen isn’t the rusher who screams off the edge, but he is a pass rush threat due to his powerful hands, giving himself opportunities while reading the ball. The Alabama starter played in a 3-4 base defense and lined up all over the line. Playing mainly as a base end before pushing inside on passing downs. He turns speed to power with body control and contact stability while also showing the ability to cut through gaps and beat blockers. Similar to how the Seattle Seahawks use Michael Bennett. Allen is one of the most talented prospects in the 2017 draft class and deserved a top-three overall consideration.
The Redskins dealt with defensive struggles that last two seasons. The unit ranked 28th in 2016, allowing 378 yards per game. It struggled against the run (24th) and the pass (25th). Allen’s selection represents a concrete step forward within the team. They have taken a step in the right direction with this pick. Allen will be paired with the two free agent defensive tackles the Redskins signed during free agency, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, which was a total overhaul of the defensive line, don’t forget Zach Brown as well. To be able to see Allen line up with Kerrigan, Brown, McClain and, if healthy, Galette on the line and Breeland, Norman, Cravens and Swearinger in the backfield, I believe this is a big improvement on defense that fans have been asking for, for years.
Now that he’s in the NFL, Allen hopes to create his own legacy, but he’ll closely watch some of the top players to see how they attack opponents. Notably Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. “For me, my motivation is to prove why the Redskins were right and smart for drafting me,” Allen said. “That’s going to be my motivation. So, I mean, it’s definitely going to sit in the back of my mind, but I have a job and I have a business to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.” Jonathan Allen will be wearing the #95 this coming season.