FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 04: New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan talks with Antonio Allen #39 during the Jets Rookie Minicamp on May 4, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
When Antonio Allen dropped to the 7th round I was absolutely stunned, I genuinely had him as a 5th round prospect possible a 4th round talent. However when the Jets selected him in the 7th I was positively giddy about it as I'm sure most of you know. So now that camp is a week old and the dust is starting to settle, it is great to hear that Antonio is turning a few heads:
Of the eight draft picks, the one that has played the best over the last two days is -- are you ready for this? -- S Antonio Allen. He has made plays in coverage, supposedly his weakness. On Friday, he knifed into the backfield and tackled Bilal Powell for a loss. The Jets were stunned that Allen, a productive player at South Carolina, dropped to the seventh round. Teams stayed away because he was a "box" safety in college, almost like a linebacker, and they assumed he's struggle at the pro level. No struggling so far.
In case you missed it, I did a player in focus feature on Allen back in April which you can read HERE with a sample below:
"In 2010 Allen really improved and made the SPUR position his own. He finished the year with 70 tackles, 3 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, 4 pass defences and 1 interception, including a very impressive performance against Tennessee where he had 7 tackles, 4 for a loss and 1.5 sacks. In 2011 Antonio continues his impressive run at the SPUR position finishing with 81 tackles, 9 for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 pass defences and 3 interceptions.
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."
If Allen is impressing in coverage that bodes well for his future as a safety with this team. He has all the other attributes and all the other abilities to be a starter in this league, however as a SPUR player in college he needs to show that his coverage is up to standard.
He is definitely one to watch over the next year.