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Best Fits for Johnathan Allen in the NFL

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

As the NFL Draft approaches, we take a look at each of the Crimson Tide prospects and decipher which teams are the best fits for them.

Position/Size/Weight/40-Time: DE/6-3/295/5.00 Sec

Career Stats: 152 Total Tackles, 44.5 Tackles for Loss, 28 Sacks, 3 FF, 3 FR (1 TD), 1 INT (75-yard TD)

Mock Draft Projections (CBS/NFL): Unanimous first-rounder. Expected to go between picks 3-15.

Best Fits (Ranked):

1 – Cincinnati Bengals (9th): Though Johnathan Allen played at defensive end in Nick Saban’s 3-4 a year ago, he could transition into a tremendous talent at defensive tackle in the 4-3 system Cincinnati runs. The reason I believe this to be Allen’s best fit is because he could potentially replace Domata Peko at DT with Pro-Bowler Geno Atkins. The physicality of Atkins and Allen together would be enough to scare offensive lines, let alone actually trying to stop them. Besides from Atkins, the Bengals also boasts a Pro-Bowler at DE as well in Carlos Dunlap. All 3 of those guys rushing side-by-side is nightmare fuel for quarterbacks and running backs.

2 – Carolina Panthers (8th): Like the Bengals, Carolina runs a 4-3 defense. Should Panthers’ DTs – Star Lotulelei or Kawann Short – go down, Allen could potentially move inside for the Panthers as well because of his strength. More likely, however, he would play as a pass rusher, and Allen’s athletic ability allows him to play at DE in a 4-3 despite his size. With two established veterans playing beside him and a standout linebacker in Luke Kuechly behind him, Allen could thrive in the system and fill the hole that Kony Ealy had in their 2015 Super Bowl run.

3 – Tennessee Titans (5th): Should the Titans choose to patch the hole at wide receiver with its 18th overall pick, getting Jonathan Allen with its fifth pick must be a priority. Tennessee runs a 3-4 defense like that of Alabama’s, allowing Allen to comfortably play as a DE in the scheme and giving the Titans a much needed playmaker on the defensive line to pair with DT Jurrell Casey. For Allen, the added bonus of going up against Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked offensive line in practice could grow him immensely as a player.

Jake Weaver is a contributor for TD Alabama Magazine and Bama Hoops Hype. You can contact him via email [email protected] and follow him on Twitter for sports news/commentary @JAWeaver0.

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