Jonathan Allen entered Thursday’s NFL Draft as a consensus top-five pick. In fact, most experts had him off the board at No. 2.
As it turned out, the Alabama defensive end prospect went 17th to Washington.
Did anyone see this coming?
“No. No. No. No,” NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Did anyone? No. No.”
Allen, a 6-3, 286-pound menace, won the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski awards as the nation’s top defensive player. Last year, he had 69 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and a Tide-high 10.5 sacks.
But with seven offensive players going in the top 10 Thursday night, Allen sat and waited and sat and waited.
“I texted with a couple of GMs and I was like, ‘Okay, explain Jonathan Allen,’” Davis said. “And both of them came back and said, ‘Shoulders.’ So they medically weren’t inclined to (draft him) – and these were people who had picks and passed (on him). They said medical. So that’s what it was. It was the shoulders with him.”
Allen had labral tears in both shoulders during his collegiate career. Some teams just couldn’t overlook that.
“I think Washington said at 17, ‘You got to be kidding me,’” Davis said. “Because again, the Giants, even though they throw it around, they’re going to want to run it, and he’s a guy also who can pass-rush from inside. That was the difference between him this year from Alabama and A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed from last year. Those guys are much more comfortable in the run game. They can (show flashes in the pass rush), but that’s not a consistency for them. This kid is much more consistent pass rusher, which is what you need in today’s NFL.”
Especially in the NFC East.
“That’s what he gives Washington going after New York, Carson Wentz in Philadelphia and, of course, trying to chase down Dak and corral Ezekiel in the run game,” Davis said. “So I thought that was a big deal for them.”
Washington head coach Jay Gruden said “never in a million years” did the Redskins think Allen would still be available at 17.
“Washington, even if they had medical concerns, they said, ‘Are you kidding me? At 17? At 17, we’re going to get Jonathan Allen, who really should have gone at 2?’” Davis said. “‘Yeah, we’re going to take that.’”