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Jonathan Allen to Redskins: Twitter Reacts as DL Is Selected in 2017 NFL Draft

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 28, 2017

Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen is seen before a drill at the 2017 NFL football scouting combine Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen will start his professional career as a member of the Washington Redskins after being selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft on Thursday in Philadelphia

Washington Redskins @Redskins

With 17th pick in the #NFLDraft, #Redskins select Jonathan Allen. Welcome back to D.C. @jonallen93! #SkinsDraft: https://t.co/brlpk89PpL https://t.co/A9WYrYGM2P

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Back-to-back picks for Bama! Washington takes Alabama DL Jonathan Allen with the No. 17 overall pick. https://t.co/dkGVK8BcR0

The Alabama product entered this draft as one of the top prospects available. Bleacher Report NFL draft guru Matt Miller ranked him seventh overall on his big board released after the scouting combine.

The fact Allen slipped to No. 17 was a surprise for many. According to Syracuse.com's Matthew Fairburn, health concerns may have caused the drop:

Matthew Fairburn @MatthewFairburn

Hearing it's a back injury in addition to shoulder issues that may help explain why Alabama DL Jonathan Allen is still on the board.

ESPN's Jemele Hill thought Washington did well with its selection:

Jemele Hill @jemelehill

Great pick for Washington. Jonathan Allen is a foundational defensive player. A steal.

The MMQB's Albert Breer is high on Allen's potential:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Comp I got for Alabama DL Jonathan Allen = Richard Seymour. If he can stay healthy ... this is stealing.

Here's how others reacted to the pick:

Adam Schein @AdamSchein

My guy @LFletcher59 said Jonathan Allen could be best player in draft on Time to Schein, and now he's going to Fletch's Redskins. Wow.

Phil Steele @philsteele042

I had Alabama DL Jonathan Allen in my top 5 picks so Washington gets great value scooping him up at #17, nice pick.

Geoff Schwartz @geoffschwartz

If Jonathan Allen is healthy, he’s a monster. Already polished pass rusher, which is rare in college

In four years at Alabama, Allen was a disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line. He recorded 44.5 tackles for loss and 28 sacks. His effort in 2016 was rewarded with SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's best defensive player. 

Beyond the production Allen had, scouting reports raved about his potential coming into the NFL, including this one from NFL.com's Lance Zierlein:

Outstanding leader and athlete with an ability to rush the passer from outside or inside. Has produced against the run and pass thanks to his strength, agility, elite hand usage, and plus footwork. He might not be the cleanest fit inside as a full-time tackle for some teams, but his talent should trump any size concerns. Allen is a likely first-round selection with Pro Bowl potential down the road.

In the predraft process, Michael Casagrande of the Birmingham News provided video showcasing Allen's side-to-side footwork in slow motion:

Michael Casagrande @ByCasagrande

Jonathan Allen at Alabama pro day. https://t.co/ClIdKFyIBd

Allen has the versatility to play at defensive end or tackle. He moved all over the field at Alabama and never skipped a beat in any role, making him more attractive to NFL teams because he doesn't have to be substituted off the field.

This draft class was loaded with talent on defense, especially on the line, with Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas looking like future stars. Allen ranks alongside that duo and will be an impact starter as soon as he steps on the field for Washington next season.

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