Scouting Report, Predictions for Alabama 5-Star LB Commit Jonathan Allen

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Scouting Report, Predictions for Alabama 5-Star LB Commit Jonathan Allen
Via 247Sports

5-star outside linebacker recruit and Alabama commit Jonathan Allen fits the mold of a Nick Saban defense perfectly.

He's quick, explosive and extremely aggressive, and he has all the intangibles to be the next great linebacker from Alabama.

Here's my scouting report on Allen and some predictions for his career with the Crimson Tide:

 

Scouting Report

Some of Allen's highlights

It's hard to watch Allen play and not notice how aggressive, physical and dominant he can be. He's very big at 6'3'', 255 pounds and Rivals.com has him down for running an extremely impressive 4.5 forty. 

He's got the size and quickness to be a force off the edge on defense. He also has the strength to go into the interior of the line and play a one or three technique, even though he projects best to outside linebacker at the college level,

He displays great agility, quickness and a natural ability to get into the backfield and pursue the ball carrier.

Allen will need to get comfortable playing off the line of scrimmage, but I believe he has what it takes on the edge to be very effective in open space.

In the picture below, you can see him lined up at defensive end with his hand on the ground, tasked with coming off the edge and getting after the quarterback.

He engages the first blocker with a nice swim move, frees up his outside shoulder and continues to pursue the quarterback.

Next, he has to take on a double team. Notice how he uses his hands to engage the block and create separation. He also has a good, strong base and has his eyes behind the blocks on the quarterback.

He's then able to get his left arm free of the blocker, move laterally into the pocket and get into the quarterback's running lane, which takes great agility, awareness and football instinct.

Finally, he's able to wrap up the quarterback and drag him down with a very tenacious tackle.

In one play, Allen beat three blocks; displayed strength, technique and agility; and made a huge football play. This is the type of raw skill and athleticism he'll be bringing to Alabama.


Predictions

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Allen is going to be the next great linebacker at Alabama, and he's going to have a straight shot to the NFL. His aggressiveness and downhill speed as a pass rusher reminds me of former Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw, and I dare say Allen has an Upshaw kind of potential.

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He's versatile enough to play down on the line or in a two-point stance. I see Nick Saban using him a lot early on in pass-rushing situations, trying to find mismatches, which will be easy to come by.

As I said earlier, he's the perfect fit for Alabama, and Saban's going to know just how to use him.

In time, he's going to be a featured defender for the Crimson Tide.

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