CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 03: Antonio Allen #26 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after a touchdown against the East Carolina Pirates during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
I had Antonio Allen rated as a 3rd or 4th round safety prospect, when we snagged him in the 7th I was delighted about it. He has agreed to terms on a four year deal with the rumoured signing bonus of $46,000.
I wrote a little player in focus piece of Antonio back in April that you can view here
When you read about Antonio Allen, one thing that will come up continuously is that Antonio played the SPUR position in college with South Carolina. This is basically a hybrid linebacker/safety, which is why he played a lot in the box and why Rex believed he droppd in the draft. A lot of colleges are now moving to the 4-2-5 defence to stop the spread offence, in this defence the SPUR player is the cog that makes it work. He needs to have excellent decision making ability and a lot of athleticism, shifting up into a traditional linebacker position in runs upport or dropping into nickel in passing situations. It's important for this position to read the defence accurately.
At 6'1 and 210lb's, Antonio has excellent size and although he hasn't played the traditional role as a safety, as Rex said, he'll be able to learn that position while contributing on defence. Any defensive player who is productive in the SEC deserves your recognition. He is excellent against the run as you would expect and tackles well in space, he will need to work on his coverage but for a 7th round selection, this is ultimate value. I can't wait to see him develop.