Will Rookie Nate Allen Compare to Another Allen in Philadelphia Eagles History?

Dan Pennwyn@@WeBleedingGreenCorrespondent IMay 5, 2010

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 15:  Safety Nate Allen #5 of the University of South Florida Bulls intercepts a pass against the Cincinnati Bearcats October 15, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

In the 2010 NFL Draft, with the 37th overall selection, the Philadelphia Eagles set their sights on a safety out of South Florida named Nate Allen.

None of us know exactly how he will pan out during his NFL career, but Allen was a big playmaker during his college days, and everyone down the board hopes that he can turn into a big-time player for the Eagles.

If you can remember back to the late 1980s, you will recall another defensive back for the Eagles named Eric Allen.

Eric Allen was also a second round draft choice (30th overall) of the Philadelphia Eagles back in 1988 out of Arizona State. He didn't quite have the same size (5'10", 184 lbs.) as Nate Allen (6'0", 207), but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the greatest DBs not only in Eagles history, but in the history of the NFL also.

[Eric] Allen marked his territory with the Eagles by being a perennial Pro Bowler, making the trip six times during his career, and also became a member of the first team All-Pro squad.

During his time with the Eagles, Allen started 110 games and registered 34 INTs, four forced fumbles, and a touchdown.

If only—can Nate Allen have those same types of numbers throughout his career?

For Philadelphia Eagles fans, his success would be a huge welcome to the team after having their troubles at safety ever since Brian Dawkins packed up and shipped out.

Yes, it would be nice for the Eagles to have another legitimate safety in the backfield, one who can cover well and lay a hard hit, but Eagle fans should allow Nate Allen to become his own player.

Nate has the skill set to become a phenomenal player in this league, especially with the likes of DB coach Dick Jauron leading the pack, and in time he could duplicate or even exceed Eric Allen's list of accomplishments—but for now we must wait to see how he grows.

Eric started all 16 games his rookie season, and Nate is all but penciled in to do the same as long as he can stay healthy.

Don't be fooled by Macho Harris playing with the first team during the minicamp that just recently concluded—Andy Reid is just seeing what he has in terms of depth.

I don't believe for even a second that Macho will be starting over Allen once the season opens against the Green Bay Packers!