Philadelphia Eagles: Rookie Nate Allen Can't Tackle? I Beg to Differ

Dan PennwynCorrespondent IMay 10, 2010

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Dorrell Jalloh #21 of the West Virginia Mountaineers makes a catch in front of Nate Allen #5 during his team's 21-13 upset loss to the University of South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium September 28, 2007 in Tampa Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

When the Philadelphia Eagles moved up 11 spots in the 2010 NFL Draft, I thought safety Earl Thomas was without a doubt going to become an Eagle—I was wrong!

Instead, the Birds used their 37th overall selection to take South Florida's Nathaniel Allen. There were fans like me who was estatic over the selection, but there was also fans who groaned at the choice.

They were groans of displeasure that the Eagles didn't select a safety in the first round who was a more proven talent, someone with a bigger draft name due to their college acheivements.

There are some phenomenal players that are selected in the second round who go on to have extremely productive careers.

Here are a few examples:

Brett Favre was the 33rd selection in the 1991 draft, we all know of his accomplishments, Thurman Thomas was the 40th selection in the 1988 draft, and Michael Strahan was also selected at No. 40 in the 1993 draft.

There are many other players throughout the history of the NFL who were also second round picks that went on to be among the best in the business, but those three stand out in my opinion.

My point is: just because the Eagles didn't select a top name in the 2010 draft to play safety does not mean that Nate Allen won't or can't be a great—with Dick Jauron leading the DB squad, this kid could become an elite player.

He has good size at 6'0", 207 pounds, nice speed from sideline to sideline and, regardless of what some think, Allen can lay some very hard hits.

During his tenure at South Florida, Allen put up solid numbers. He racked up 216 total tackles (132 solo) and 10 interceptions. Although not jaw-dropping by any means, fans shouldn't question those numbers.

There are fans that think Macho Harris will start at safety over Allen in the upcoming season and Allen will man the CB position opposite Asante Samuel—Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders made that switch and has commanded a ton of respect, so much that QBs fear throwing to any reciever Asomugha is covering.

I'm fine with that, but why not allow players to play their natural positions?

Contrary to popular belief, Macho Harris does have the required speed to play CB in this league, so why not make him a CB and put a natural safety, Allen, at the safety position?

This mixing and matching of players and positions at needs to come to an end at some point and the Philadelphia Eagles have an opportunity to make that happen.

Keep the faith Eagledelphians and enjoy this highlight reel of Nate Allen laying some wood! I wanted to add the video here but there was an issue with embedding the code so here's a link!