NAME: Zach Allen
SCHOOL: Boston College
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 285 lbs
Ball Get Off: First step has some burst but doesn’t carry that same momentum when running the arc. Will struggle against quicker footed tackles (if he plays on the edge) and but flashes the speed to penetrate gaps. He also illustrates the ability to time up the snap count to enhance his jump on his opponents.
Hand Usage: Is a technician with his hands. Utilizes a variety of swipes, clubs, and counter strikes when pass rushing. His counter step inside swim move is his most effective method to penetrate or win a pass rush rep. Also, understands leverage points when setting the edge or bull rushing. Run fits are sound, consistently illustrating the ability to stack and shed. Creates excellent leverage with his length and hand placement.
Pad Level and Flexibility: Pad level is functional but swells up occasionally. Will have to be more consistent with staying low if he moves to the interior. Which would benefit him because he does not possess the necessary flexibility to maximize his skill set on the edge. Struggles to corner and turn through tight angles. Often gets pushed a long the edge track when trying to bend the edge as well. Hips look very stiff, which is why it is easy to assume he is a linear rusher (rushing in a straight path).
Motor: Effort should not be questioned. Will get sacks/TFLs strictly off hustle. Known for batting down passes as well. Effort is one of his best traits.
Pass Rush Ability: Utilizes a variety of pass rush moves to beat his opponents and almost always has a plan of attack. Also never gives up on reps when his initial plan is neutralized. Understands counters and how to change rush angles. Lacks the high end athleticism and flexibility, so ceiling is limited. Pass rush ability would most likely be maximized by moving to the interior.
Awareness: Assignment sound player who sets the edge and stays true to his gap. Vision in the back field is solid. Having no problem finding ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage.
Best Trait: Motor
Worst Trait: Flexibility
Best Film: Temple (2018)
Worst Film: VA Tech (2018)
Pro Comparison: Dean Lowery
Zach Allen is a polished and strong prospect who plays with and a never ending motor. But the “elephant in the room” of his evaluation is figuring out what position he should play at the next level. It seems like his best approach would be to play base end on early/run downs (if he wants to stay on the edge), and move inside to maximize his pass rush ability. Like mentioned before, Allen doesn’t have the bend or athleticism consistently corner at a high level. Which is why a full time move to the interior might be necessary. He also could benefit himself by cleaning up his frame and trimming some bad weight. Or bulking up to obtain more girth for the interior. A gap control scheme would be ideal for his skill set.
- Marino, Joe. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Zach Allen.” The Draft Network, 28 Dec. 2018, thedraftnetwork.com/2018/12/28/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-zach-allen/.