The Philadelphia Eagles took major strides in 2013, exceeding expectations and making the playoffs behind young quarterback Nick Foles. However, a weak defense hindered the team’s ability to become a Super Bowl contender.
After addressing team needs at linebacker and wide receiver, the Eagles shifted their focus to improving their defensive line. In order to add depth at the nose tackle position, the Eagles selected former Wisconsin defensive tackle Beau Allen in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
In his four seasons at Wisconsin, Allen totaled 15 tackles for loss, which included eight quarterback sacks. He also showed some athleticism, recording three pass defenses from the nose tackle position.
While most analysts do not project Allen as a starter in the NFL, there is no questioning that he has the physical frame of a NFL starter. Allen stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 333 pounds, prototypical size for a nose tackle. In comparison, former Pittsburgh Steeler Pro Bowl defensive tackle Casey Hampton was 6-foot-1 and weighed 325 pounds.
Allen does not possess the same type of athleticism that Hampton once had, but he shares the same ability to eat up blockers. He also is sneaky athletic, as demonstrated by his blocked punt against Purdue last season. Allen also has a strong work ethic, leads by example and has a fun, outgoing personality, making him an excellent addition to any locker room.
The reason why Allen was drafted by the Eagles is likely due to average production at the nose tackle position last season. Allen will compete for playing time during OTAs and training camp with incumbent starter Bennie Logan as well as Damion Square. Allen has already made his presence known, catching the eye of GM Howie Roseman. Roseman has been impressed with how athletic Allen is, despite his massive 333-pound frame.
In terms of impact, Allen could earn situational playing time. While his pass rushing skills are categorized as below average, Allen is an above average run stopper. He could be used as added bulk in goal line situations or during downs when the opposing team typically elects to run the ball.
Assuming that Allen can continue to raise eyebrows in the Eagles organization, he should have no problem making the Eagles’ 53-man roster. From there, he can shift his focus to becoming the Eagles’ starting nose tackle of the future.