INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Everyone assumes that the Cleveland Browns will select Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27th.
Well, you know what they say when you assume.
And Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen would like a say in the matter as well.
“I’m going to control what I can control,” Allen said Saturday about his prospects of being the top pick. “But the competitor in me wants to be the first [pick], but I’m also going to go out there and work toward it.”
Allen is regarded by many to be the No. 2 prospect in the draft, right behind Garrett, after recording 10 1/2 sacks and 69 tackles with 16 of them going for a loss in 2016. Both players are scheduled to meet with the Browns Saturday night for a formal interview.
Allen’s resume is pretty impressive and one that has the Browns’ attention.
After deciding to return for his senior season Allen won the Lombardi Award, Bronco Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and the Ted Hendricks Award but the 22-year old feels he brings more than just a full trophy case to the table after being listed as a third down player a year ago.
“Versatility, I can play effectively at a 6-tech, 9-tech, a 3,” Allen said. “I’ve been working on my drops, I can drop in the flat if needed. I can do a lot of things and do them equally well.”
Allen, who measured in at 6-3, 286 pounds with a 33 5/8 wingspan officially this week at the NFL Combine, might be the cleanest, safest prospect atop the draft board. There isn’t much to criticize with him while one of the few criticisms of Garrett is that he looked at times to take plays off for the Aggies.
Allen was asked if he ever took a play off for the Crimson Tide.
“Not at all, if you do that you won’t be playing at Alabama I promise you that,” Allen said.
There were some questions about Allen’s shoulders, which have had labral tears surgically repaired, but after putting up 21 reps of 225 on the bench press, Allen hopes he’s answered them.
“I have no restrictions on anything I do,” Allen said. “I feel good. It’s probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years. I feel good, refreshed, re-charged, ready to go.”
Players are checked medically with a fine-toothed comb at the combine and Allen has been told by doctors there is nothing to worry about.
“They said I have some arthritis in my left shoulder,” Allen said. “It’s not really a problem now, but it might be a problem 15, 20 years down the road so I’m not worried about that right now. I’m worried about playing good for whichever team I go to.”
Allen is expected to go quick on draft night which means he will go to a team in desperate need of help, but he’s ready to shoulder the burden of trying to help turn a franchise around.
“What I bring is a winning atmosphere, winning attitude, a leader, a guy who’s going to bust his butt every play, a guy who’s looking to come in and make an immediate impact in a positive way,” Allen said.