The Los Angeles Rams doubled down with their second pick in the draft adding Michigan State Spartans C Brian Allen in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. While the strategy for personnel moves this offseason was clearly to win now, it appears the Rams are using the draft to build for the future.
Allen displays decent pass protection skills. He’s always aware of what’s going on and is willing to shift and help a guard. His smaller size allows him to naturally get leverage on lineman and is aggressive to sustain a block.
The main issue here is that he lacks athleticism. Given his smaller size, if he doesn’t win at contact he has no leverage or speed to reset and recover.
This is Allen’s bread and butter. His smaller frame makes him an ideal drive blocker. He’s easily able to win at the point of attack and has that mauler mentality you look for in the run game. He quite often displayed the ability to drive and open up space in the run game:
If you watch him in the clip above, he’s able to lock onto his lineman and keeps moving his feet to drive him back. Once the lineman gets outside his block, he disengages before it’s a hold.
This clip also displays Allen’s weaknesses. He’s able to win initially on his leverage, but doesn’t possess the athleticism to reset before he has to disengage. It’s something to be aware of at the next level.
On the Move
Allen was asked in MSU’s offense to be on the move and he did so with limited success. His mauler style doesn’t work that well on the move. To be honest, I just don’t know if he’s quick enough to be reliable in the NFL here:
Allen has limited upside, which is probably true of most 4th round picks. However, I think his strength in the run game is what the Rams were looking for. They’ll need to work with him so that he’s more consistently able to win and utilize his natural leverage to stop linemen.
His athleticism and pass blocking skills are limited, but like Joseph Noteboom, he has the upside you look for in day three. Just... maybe not as much.