Antonio Allen to Jets: Video Highlights, Scouting Report and Analysis

Louis Musto@LouisMustoContributor IIIApril 28, 2012

A second-team All-SEC selection, South Carolina’s Antonio Allen is one of the more versatile players in this year’s draft and anchored the SEC’s second best defensive unit from the strong safety position.

Allen is an intense defender and a natural leader on the gridiron. He led the Gamecocks defense with 88 tackles—9.5 of which went for a loss—three interceptions, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

The South Carolina product boasts a good skill set as a traditional strong safety coming into the NFL. NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler weighs in on this young prospect:

[Allen] possesses a tall, long frame with room to get stronger—adequate arm length (32 inches). Talented all-around athlete with good playing speed and range. Reads and deciphers quickly, reacting in a flash with a nose for the ball. Jumps routes and drives fast on plays in front of him. Has good body control and balance to redirect and break down in space -- consistent open-field tackler. Extends his arms into contact and works hard to shed and burst to the ball. Heads-up, opportunistic defender with good awareness and ball skills to make plays on the ball.

The gurus over at NEPatriotsDraft.com tell us it is not all positive for Allen.

Not a real fluid athlete especially in the hips – Struggles to change direction quick enough – Has a tough time turning and running with receivers – Tends to play the body too often, instead of finding and tracking the ball – Can’t make up a lot of ground in coverage, if he makes a mistake with his reads he struggles to get back into position – Even though he is a powerful tackler, Allen exhibits poor tackling technique – Misses too many tackles due to poor angles ... Man to man coverage skills need a lot of work.

Allen looks to be a quality prospect at the strong safety position, excelling as a run stopper during his tenure at South Carolina. Though he does bring some enticing versatility to the table, NFLDraftScout.com’s Brugler says that the former Gamecock projects as a special-teams thumper and in-the-box safety who will struggle in the deep half of the field, which will limit his effectiveness in the pros.

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