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Prospect Profiles: Antonio Allen


TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 6-2, 202, 4.55


National Football Post:

A tall, top heavy safety prospect who plays the hybrid SS/LB “spur” position on the South Carolina defense. Plays a lot inside the box and when he sees the football showcases an average initial burst, drops his pad level, wraps and creates an explosive pop into contact. Can tackle inside the box, plays physical and has a natural strength to his game. However, isn’t the most instinctive of defenders inside. Doesn’t consistently take proper angles toward the ball carrier and lacks the initial closing gear to make up for it. Plays like a 4.6 guy and doesn’t routinely make a ton of plays in pursuit. Struggles to breakdown as well into contact and has a tendency to outrun the football.

Is an intimidating presence in the secondary. However, doesn’t look real flexible trying to sit into his stance. Gets hunched over at the waist and his big, broad upper body makes it tough on him to change directions. Tends to skip off the line in off man coverage. Will line-up over the slot, but simply doesn’t have the flexibility in his drop to stay low and create much of a burst out of his breaks. Doesn’t change directions well and/or have the ability to close on the football in space. Is tighter in the hips as well and routinely gets overextended with his footwork causing him to waste motion collecting himself before he’s ready to reach his top gear. Isn’t a burner either way and even when he reaches top end speed lacks the ability to make up for a false step. Showcases the ability to use his length well and be physical off the line. Does a nice job being physical on contact, extending his long arms and creating a jolt into contact. Will get overextended at times, but creates enough of a bump for him to stay in their back pocket initially in the pass game.

Impression: A physical in the box type player who doesn’t key overly well. Isn’t an NFL caliber pass defender either and looks more like a very average old school type strong safety.

Sideline Scouting:

Positives — Tremendous frame for a safety, just a well put together individual and one of the best safeties in this class in run support… Shows great form when making tackles and rarely lets the ball carrier gain extra yards… Surprised many people at the Senior Bowl with his ability to cover, many thought he would struggle there… Excellent backpedal with no wasted motion, which leaves him with the ability to stop on a dime and be a split second faster than other safeties… Runs to the ball with a force that is tough to stop; big time hitter, delivers the kind of pop that you can hear through your television set… An old school strong safety that is going to make a defense even tougher physically… Had three interceptions for the Gamecocks last season, including a 25 yard touchdown against Georgia; finished his career with 197 tackles and eight pass breakups to go along with four career interceptions… Played in the SEC, no doubting his competition and whether he can make plays against elite players

Negatives — While he possesses average speed, he lacks the jump to provide a team with a consistent pass rush from the safety spot… Played the Spur in college, a hybrid safety-outside linebacker combination that has some scouts questioning his natural position… Questionable hips, not very fluid when he turns and runs, he doesn’t have enough over the top speed to recover when beat deep… Can take bad angles when chasing a ball carrier, has a tendency to outrun the ball because of the angles… Never was really asked to cover the slot, so it will be questioned whether he can do it successfully at the next level.

FF Toolbox:

Allen, finally ready to take his talents to the next level, was one of the more experienced players in college football. The strong safety played one year at Fork Union Military Academy before transferring to South Carolina and sitting out one year in 2008. He was mostly a full-time starter at safety the rest of the way throughout his sophomore, junior, and senior campaigns. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury in 2010, Allen finished second on the team with 70 tackles (10.5 for loss). He played in 12 of 13 games as a senior and led the Gamecocks with 88 total tackles. Allen was third in tackles for loss (9.5) and and second in solo tackles (55). He also had three interceptions, one sack, three fumble recoveries, and an incredible four forced fumbles.

The Ocala, FL native has great size at 6’1” and 202 pounds. He has consistent 4.5 speed and has been clocked as fast as 4.48 from that distance. Allen does not have elite speed, so he sometimes struggles in pass coverage and can get beat because he is sometimes over-aggressive. When he gets the ball in his hands, though, he is extremely dangerous. In 2011 he returned both a fumble and an interception for a touchdown, and both of his fumble returns went for at least 25 yards. Quite simply, Allen is a ball-hawk who can pick it off in the air or dislodge it with huge hits. He plays physical and is not afraid to make his way into the backfield. His red flag is questionable straight-line speed and agility, so deep-threat wide receivers can take advantage of him. Look for Allen to be a third-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft


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GiantsGab Thoughts:

Antonio Allen is an intriguing safety prospect. He played the Deon Grant role in college, which gets your attention, because that’s the role he would be playing for the Giants. Good against the run, going downhill. Physical. Not the best in coverage, but has decent straight line speed and is a ballhawk. Not sure if he can cover the Jimmy Graham’s of the world. But he knows the “Bison” role, or “spur” at South Carolina. He can step in and play that role. That’s what you love about him. Can he do it well? I think so. I worry about him in coverage, but let’s remember, Deon Grant isn’t the best in coverage. I think you can take him in the 3rd or 4th round and feel confident, knowing that he knows what’s expected of him.



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6 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Antonio Allen”

  1. Jason Perla says:

    Nice to see a Gamecock profiled. Allen is a machine. Giants would love him. I hope we can get him!!!

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