Not each deserving prospect hears his title referred to as on draft day. Simply ask Rod Smith, C.J. Anderson, Chris Harris, Jr., Shaquil Barrett, and Phillip Lindsay — none of whom have been drafted and all of whom have earned Professional Bowl accolades on the subsequent degree.
The Denver Broncos have a wealthy custom of discovering, not simply influence gamers within the undrafted ranks, however veritable stars. That being stated, simply because he garnered reportedly $180,000 in guarantees from the Broncos, former Alabama edge rusher Christopher Allen has no promise of changing into the subsequent success story.
Allen is not even a lock to make the Broncos’ 53-man roster however that contract Denver handed out makes the apply squad a close to certainty at worst. However he has to get on the market and carry out.
Allen’s bought to get wholesome first however head coach Nathaniel Hackett sounds bullish on the rookie’s upside.
“We’re going to play that by ear,” Hackett stated on Friday. “We’re going to see how he comes alongside. He’s a really gifted athlete, a very good particular person. For us, it’s about getting him wholesome and getting him proper first, then as we transfer ahead we’ll be capable to see the place he matches. He has a whole lot of stuff that he has to supply this group, and we simply need to get him on the market so we are able to consider it.”
That is the rub. Allen has a regarding harm historical past, which is why he went from being a fourth-round-caliber prospect to the underside of the undrafted pile.
A gifted however nonetheless uncooked athlete, Allen was cruising for NFL draft love earlier than he broke his foot whilst sacking Miami quarterback D’Eriq King within the Crimson Tide’s season-opener. Allen is 6-foot-4 and 252 kilos of twitched-up potential.
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He performed in 19 collegiate video games and totaled 6.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for a loss. Not precisely the kind of manufacturing to make one do a double-take — at first look.
However the Broncos delved far deeper than that, figuring out that whereas Allen’s well being standing eradicated him from draft-pick consideration, there was some ‘there’ there if the group may recruit him as a university free agent.
The Broncos have two stable veterans atop the sting rusher depth chart in Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory. Behind them are second-round choose Nik Bonitto, Malik Reed, and Jonathon Cooper. Allen should get in the place he matches in.
However you realize the ol’ NFL adage: ‘you’ll be able to’t make the membership from the bathtub.’
If, certainly, availability is one of the best means, Allen should add a brand new expertise to his skill-set. But when the character is there, as Coach Hackett alludes together with his “good particular person” remark, there’s motive to imagine the Broncos can nurse this child again to full well being.
Cliches apart, although Allen is not 100%, listening to Hackett and decoding what his $180K in ensures, it sounds just like the Broncos plan to be affected person and play the lengthy sport with Allen and financial institution on his long-term upside.
Observe Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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