Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden were immensely excited during the NFL Draft. Gruden couldn’t believe that former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive end, Johnathan Allen was still available with the No. 17 overall pick and the front office ended up selecting him.
During his time at Alabama, Allen won the Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-SEC in 2016. He finished his senior season with 69 total tackles, including 16 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks.
Now that the former All-American will be receiving his big paycheck later on a team that’s looking to rebuild its defense, Gruden sees that Allen will fit perfectly into his plans. While the offense was solid, defensive struggles kept the Redskins from exceeding expectations and playing at a high level against competition. Last season, the Skins’ ranked 28th overall in total defense out of 32 teams in the NFL. The team ranked 24th in rush defense (119.8) and 25th against the pass (258.1).
With Chris Baker, Trent Murphy, Ricky-Jean Francios, Ziggy Hood, Cullen Jenkins, Matthew Ioannidis and other linemen, the front must develop more consistency in its pressure. Aside from Murphy –nine sacks in 2016 — the Redskins need more players creating havoc against opposing quarterbacks.
When you add Johnathan Allen in the mix, one has a premiere edge rusher on the outside. There’s no doubt he can be a future pro-bowler and succeed at a high level every season with his passion for the game of football.
Allen is so versatile that coaches can line him up at nose tackle, and he’ll still be a force to be reckoned with even though he’s not on the edge as a pass rusher. Since the Redskins run a mixture of the 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, Allen would fulfill a huge need for the team that needed more production from its defensive line.
He provides a solid frame (6-2, 286 pounds) that can get up the A-gap and rush from the outside. His knack for disrupting plays and giving his defense a chance to score frustrates the timing of offensive coordinators. Drafting Allen is an announcement to NFL teams that the glory days for Redskins football is coming sooner than you think.