Arizona Cardinals: 5 NFL Draft prospect to watch from the ACC
Zach Allen – EDGE, Boston College
One of the most underrated edge rushers in the 2019 class, Zach Allen from Boston College poses as a great player with a 2018 Pro Football Focus rating of 90.9. His pass rushing production was solid with18.0 sacks, 33 QB hits, and 65 hurries, per PFF in three years as a key player. But, he projects as more of a Derek Wolfe player with his 122 run-stops, per PFF, and excellent gap control.
Allen has a solid build standing in a 6-foot-4 and 281-pounds. Although his explosiveness and athleticism are average, and he showed it at the combine, he can start immediately in the NFL.
Allen possesses a consistent motor and will never give up on the play. His hustle is simply something every pop warner kid should study. Most of his sacks and tackles are due to his never-ending effort and violent hand techniques. He gets deep in the pocket despite lacking explosiveness which should develop well if he adds a good first-step to his game.
Allen could stand to loosen his hips up to set more of a precedent in his pursuit to the ball carrier, but his pursuit means he will always at least try to set an edge. Known more as a pass rusher, he could work on his anchoring ability and strength gives up more ground than he should, allowing ball carriers to gain the extra yard. If he could shed around ten pounds, it might help his explosiveness and speed in both the pass and rush game.
Final verdict: Allen isn’t an entire project, but he will need to take some developing his hips and explosiveness. If his game progresses, I can see him being an every-down player. If the Cardinals get him late in the early third, it would be a good pickup.
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