The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Boston College defensive end Zach Allen has been a star for the Eagles and is now going to test his skills in the NFL.
Position: Defensive End
2018 stats: 61 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception, seven passes defended, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble
Size: 6-foot-4, 281 pounds
Allen has been one of the few standout players on Boston College’s solid defense over the last three season. Due to his good play over his career, he has now positioned himself to be drafted early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Over his time as an Eagle, Allen had 199 total tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, two interceptions, 14 passes defended, four fumbles recovered and one fumble forced. He got his first regular playing time as a sophomore, accumulating 10 tackles for loss and six sacks in 10 games. As a junior, he had 15.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, while playing all 13 games. For his senior season, Allen tallied 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Allen helped Boston College stay consistent with seven wins in each of the three seasons he saw consistent playing time.
As a result of his standout play as a senior, Allen was named to the All-ACC Second Team. Now, he has positioned himself to be selected in the top few rounds of the draft, in a very deep class for defensive linemen.
Allen is one of the biggest and strongest 4-3 defensive ends in the class. At 285 pounds, he has a bigger build than most defensive ends. His play strength helps him be harder to block, as he can more easily shed better. With that, when he rushes the quarterback, he is at his best when he utilizes his power.
Because he has the strength to shed blocks, Allen is also a great run defender. He maintains good gap integrity and sets the edge against the run. He can also make the tackles to finish the play once he sheds the block and gets to the ball carrier.
His hands are also some of the best in the class. It doesn’t matter if it is a running or passing play, his hands are always active and have great power. His hand fighting is a major way he gets past his blocker to make the play.
His pass rushing has not ended up in as many sacks as NFL people would’ve liked. He never totaled more than 6.5 sacks in a season and even had Harold Landry on the team for the two seasons prior to this one. Landry drew more attention than Allen, so Allen should’ve been able to produce more with so many one on one matchups early in his career.
Allen has limited flexibility, which will hurt his ability to win on the edge. He doesn’t bend well, meaning he can’t beat tackles on the outside unless he puts a move on them. This limited his ability to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis in college and will ultimately do the same in the NFL.
At the end of the day, Allen could be more of a “tweener” between a defensive end or a defensive tackle in a four-man front. His best position might be a 3-4 defensive end. If he doesn’t excel at either end or tackle though, or find a scheme that will use him best, it will be harder to have a successful career.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round