With the fifth pick in the second round—No. 37 overall, or as you may know it, the “Donovan McNabb pick”—South Florida safety Nate Allen is the newest Philadelphia Eagle.
Allen, a 6’1”, 207 pound free safety, is certainly one hell of an athlete. He was recruited as a quarterback, and his father, Jackie, was star basketball player in Europe.
His Combine numbers were fairly spectacular as well. Allen ran a 4.52 40, had a 34 inch vertical, bench pressed 16 reps, and had great times in all of the shuttle drills.
During his senior year at USF, Allen was a first team All-Big East selection who recorded 85 tackles, four pass deflections, and four interceptions. The Bulls led the Big East in pass defense and pass efficiency defense last year, and Allen was clearly a big part of that.
But as great as he is in coverage, Allen is also perfect for the Eagles in another way.
Of his 224 career tackles, 108 of those came against the run and 27 came on third down. The Eagles’ secondary is traditionally very active in the running game, with Jim Johnson and Sean McDermott playing eight in the box quite often, and Allen has the skill set to be very effective in that role.
Nate the Great was a three-year starter for the Bulls, and he has the talent to step right into Brian Dawkins’ old shoes and be the Birds’ starter at free safety from the get-go.
Nate Allen is a heck of a player, and he can be very productive in Philly.
He’ll have to be, because if you break it down, the Birds basically traded the greatest quarterback in franchise history for him straight up.