The 6-2, 335-pound nose tackle played in 54 straight games for Wisconsin, a school record. That was likely not lost on Jerry Azzinaro, who recruited Allen out of high school while serving as Chip Kelly‘s defensive line coach at Oregon. Allen, a Minnesota native, ultimately chose Madison over Eugene.
Azzinaro attended Wisconsin’s Pro Day. Allen had the sense leading up to the draft that the Eagles were interested. He was right.
“I know they do a lot of two-gapping with their nose guard; that’s something I’m definitely familiar with,” he said in a conversation with Birds 24/7 last month. “Last year at Wisconsin we ran a 3-4 defensive scheme and I was a two-gap, zero-tech nose guard so that’s something I’m comfortable with. Just looking at their roster and some of the defensive linemen they have on there, they had Bennie Logan in the nose guard spot last year and he’s not a big guy, he’s not just a run-stuffing nose guard, he’s not a 350-pounder.That makes it clear to me that they like a guy at that position that is athletic and can bring more to the table than just run stuffing, and I like to think that I can do that as well.”
Allen wasn’t on the field a ton on obvious passing downs last season and finished with 20 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. He was not invited to the combine. The snub admittedly bothered him but served as motivation. He performed well at his pro day: his 31-inch vertical would have ranked fourth among defensive tackles in Indianapolis; and he benched 225 pounds 30 times, which would have ranked seventh.
Allen’s NFL.com draft profile states that the former Wisconsin defensive tackle “squats a small house.”
What does that equate to, exactly?
“The most I ever squatted was my junior year, at the end of summer I hit 705 and went double,” said Allen. “It put a lot of strain on my back obviously so I never squatted that much after that, but I’m curious to see if I can get up there again.”
With their draft in the books, here is what the Eagles came away with:
Rd. 1 (26) Marcus Smith, OLB, Lousiville
Rd. 2 (42) Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Rd. 3 (86) Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
Rd. 4 (101) Jaylen Watkins, DB, Florida
Rd. 5 (141) Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
Rd. 5 (162) Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
Rd. 7 (224) Beau Allen, DT, Wisconsin