The experts widely project Jonathan Allen as a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and for good reason: The Alabama stud’s senior season has truly been top-notch.
Allen turned in such a good year, in fact, that Pro Football Focus dubbed the Crimson Tide standout as the top overall college football player of 2016 on Wednesday. He graded out as the country’s second-best interior defensive lineman this fall, earning a 92.6 rating — that ranks second-highest among interior D-linemen — and generating a position-best 64 quarterback pressures.
Allen, a 6-foot-3, 291-pound end, also finished fifth nationally in PFF’s run-stopping percentage metric (12.4).
The eye test and Allen’s traditional statistics both back up the choice. A year after Alabama lost defensive linemen A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed to the NFL, Allen played a starring role on the country’s No. 1 defense, registering 62 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries and a blocked kick.
And even when not directly involved in a play, Allen always seemed to be around the football. The 2016 winner of the Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player, even had his name thrown around as a Heisman Trophy finalist candidate at one point.
Allen and his Alabama teammates will look to finish their attempt at a perfect season on Monday, when the Crimson Tide clash with Clemson in the national championship game. Kickoff: about 8 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN.