When the Indianapolis Colts took Coby Fleener in the early stages of the 2012 NFL draft it seemed this Stanford reunion with Andrew Luck would be a key element in helping the franchise quarterback adjust during his rookie season. Well it turns out it was the later pick from Clemson that ended up making Luck’s life easier than any of the rookies on this squad.
Dwayne Allen has been a revelation in both receiving and blocking in just one year in the league, quickly becoming a player Indy could use on the field every snap in almost any down and distance. This earned him attention in Pro Football Focus’ “Secret Superstar” series.
“A good comparison for his upside would be a player like Witten,” wrote PFF’s Michael Renner. “He’ll continue to be an elite blocker and has all the tools to become an exceptional receiver. The best thing for Allen in his development is that he’ll most likely build a relationship with a quality quarterback over his entire career. With great hands and solid route running skills, Allen should provide a safety net for Luck for the foreseeable future.”
He also notes that Allen received PFF’s third-highest blocking a grade among all tight ends in the league, not just rookies. It’s incredible to think of a first-year man picking up these nuances so quickly, let alone better than almost anyone else. This level of trust inspired in all facets of the game surely helped him amass 994 snaps in 2012, an incredible amount for a rookie third-rounder.
Allen’s 572 yards receiving might not jump off the page, but it does round out a young force to be reckoned with in this developing Colts offense.