Northern Virginia native Jonathan Allen enters the NFL Draft ready to prove that he is a complete player and hopes to put his shoulder injuries past him.
While Jonathan Allen is focused on getting NFL-ready, some are still wondering about shoulder problems that have put red flags near his name. Also, with the upcoming NFL Draft being so deep in the defensive line department, Allen wanted to reiterate that his past shoulder hindrance won't be a problem.
"Not at all, not at all, the shoulder feels good," Allen said last month at the NFL Combine. "Every doctor said if there is a problem, it will be after football, way after football. I have no concerns with it at all. It's not really a problem now, but it might be a problem 15, 20 years down the road so Im not worried about that right now. I'm just worried about playing good for whichever team I go to."
His shoulders didn't seem to be a problem while in Indianapolis, as he racked up 21 reps on the bench press.
Allen finished his senior season with 69 tackles (16 for loss) and 10.5 sacks in 15 games, part of a four-year career with the Crimson Tide that saw him acquire 12 sacks in his junior year, which included a National Championship.
When Allen was younger he was a Redskins fan, which is a product of growing up in Leesburg, Va. right down the road from Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Ashburn.
"I did root for the Redskins growing up, that was the team I liked," Allen said.
After getting 12 sacks his junior year, many scouts questioned Allen's ability to stop the run, so he return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season. There were aspects of his game that he wanted to improve on before competing at the next level and that is what he did in 2016. He almost doubled the number of tackles from the year before when he only had 36, and became way more disruptive in the running game.
Check out photos of Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen.
"I feel like I'm mentally prepared for whatever happens. At Alabama it's definitely not the easiest thing to do for four years," Allen said on his decision to stay for his final year. "One of the biggest things was I was being listed as a third-down player. Not too many people considered me an every-down player and that kind of bothered me and put a chip on my shoulder. So I wanted to come back and prove I could do both and do them effectively."
The Alabama product has moved up and down many draft boards over the past few months and there has been discussion about where the 6-foot-3, 286 pounder will end up.
But more than likely the local prospect will hear his named called early on the first day of the draft and after winning so much under Alabama Coach Nick Saban, he understands that he could be going to a team in the middle of a rebuild but thinks he can bring a winning culture with him.
"I always believe for a team to be good they have to have a winning atmosphere, winning attitude in the locker room," answered Allen. "So that's going to be the first that I try instill, just through my work ethic, preparation, my dedication to being excellent. So that's what I'm going to try to focus on, just go in there with veteran guys who have been there, try to soak up as much as I can and do anything to help the team out."
Allen is a versatile football player that has excelled at every single position he has been pinned at on the depth chart. With NFL defenses relying so much on schemes and player types, Allen can fit quite a few alignments at the next level.
When asked about which scheme he prefers, Allen quickly answered: "Either one. I'm a football player and I'm going to get them."