When Jonathan Allen’s name was brought up on the Paul Finebaum show Monday, the first thing SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears said was, “Best defensive lineman in college football.”
He followed that statement up by later calling the Alabama defensive lineman “unblockable.” But it’s not just Finebaum and Spears who are gushing over the Crimson Tide senior.
“The reason I say he is the best defensive lineman in college football is because of how much he can do,” Spears said. “Rushing from the inside and outside, you’ve seen his athletic ability on display. Everybody is talking about the flying tackle, but Jonathan Allen has been making plays like that every game. They don’t get highlighted because it doesn’t end up as a sack or just not as stand out as something that was going on.”
— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) October 22, 2016
According to Spears, one NFL scout had some lofty praise for Allen.
“I was texting back and forth with one of the scouts from the Cowboys, who I am not going to mention is name,” Spears said. “He was telling me he’s probably as complete of a defensive lineman they’ve seen since (Ndamukong) Suh.”
In four years at Nebraska (2006-09), Suh collected 215 tackles, 49.5 tackles for loss, 24 sacks and four interceptions. He went on to be the No. 2 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, earn NFL Rookie of the Year honors and play in four Pro Bowls thus far.
So far this season Allen has accumulated 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and two touchdowns — the latest coming last weekend against Texas A&M.
For his career, Allen has 118 tackles, 35 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks. It’s unlikely that Allen catches Suh in tackles, but the former Nebraska player’s tackles for a loss and sacks marks are within reach.
Some will credit some of Allen’s production to the talented pieces around him like linebackers Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson. but Spears isn’t buying that rationale.
“Doesn’t hurt, but he does his own work…I haven’t seen him get blocked this year. That what Suh did,” Spears said.