Analyzing Safety Marcus Allen’s Draft Stock
Marcus Allen will always be a fan favorite at Penn State. He’s been enshrined in the minds of Nittany Lions fans for his blocked field goal against Ohio State in the 2016 season. Grant Haley returned that blocked kick for a touchdown and propelled the Nittany Lions to a surprising Big Ten Championship and berth in the 2017 Rose Bowl. His post-game locker room dance videos and constant smile made him easy to be loved.
As much as he was loved at Penn State, Marcus Allen will have to prove to NFL scouts at the Combine and Penn State’s pro day that he is able to take the same game-changing plays he made at Penn State to the next level.
Marcus Allen can, simply put, lay the boom. Allen certainly has an NFL frame and can play all over the field. He plays with fantastic instinct — the kind of instinct that led to a fantastic safety against Pitt. CBS ranked Allen as the fifth-best free safety in the 2018 NFL Draft, good enough for No. 116 overall.
Before the 2017 season, Allen was listed among the top five at the safety position for the 2018 NFL Draft by some draft analysts and viewed as a potential first-round pick, but as the season went on, his stock started to fall. He finished his senior season with 71 total tackles, an interception, and two forced fumbles, while also finishing among the top ten at Penn State in career tackles with 320 total tackles.
Although the production was there for Allen this season, many questions popped up as the season progressed. Allen is one of the top tackling safeties who are draft eligible, but he mostly lined up along the line of scrimmage as a linebacker. One of the biggest criticisms of Allen is that he struggles in coverage. He only had one interception in his four-year career at Penn State, one that he picked off against lowly Georgia State earlier this past season. He also only had two passes defended.
Although he will most likely not be drafted in the first round like some thought before the season started, Marcus Allen has a very good chance of being drafted day two, in the second or third rounds. Allen doesn’t really have a set position in the NFL — he may play safety, or he may line up as more of a hybrid-linebacker type of position. It may take him some time to acclimated to playing NFL defense, but Allen should be to contribute to special teams right away.
In any case, expect the Maryland native to bring his infectious personality and exciting style wherever he lands.