The Eagles drafted Beau Allen in the 7th round, hoping he could compete for a backup spot on the D-line. If he wasn’t good enough to make the team, maybe he could make the practice squad and develop for the future. That’s what you generally expect for a late round pick. You certainly can’t expect those guys to make the team and contribute. You hope for that, but don’t expect it.
Allen doesn’t appear to be a normal 7th round pick.
A lot of people have gone out of their way to praise Allen. Chip Kelly said good things about him. Assistant coaches have raved about him. Even his teammates have said good things. The media members covering practice on a daily basis have written a lot of good things about Allen and how he’s looked this summer.
“I’ve got a bird’s eye view of some offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen one-on-ones. The one rep that stands out: Beau Allen pushes Jason Kelce back, and his teammates go wild. Impressive.“
Les Bowen took the time to write a whole article on Allen. And even a good one. He got a very good quote from Jason Kelce on Allen.
“Beau’s an intriguing guy,” Kelce said. “For how big he is, he has very, very good feet. He’s quick, he’s very strong. He has a lot of raw ability that you like to see in a nose tackle. Right now he’s just working on his technique. Getting to know the plays, getting to know our offense. Some of the other ‘noses’ are ahead of him in terms of the knowledge, but you see a lot of the things you want to see in terms of the skill level in him . . . The nose guards that I see that are the most consistent . . . are big guys that have really quick feet, or really long arms.”
In 1-on-1′s today, there was one occasion when Allen put Kelce on roller skates, driving him well into the backfield. In the limited occasions I’ve gotten a good look at Allen, he has shown excellent raw strength.
With Bennie Logan still slowly returning from a hamstring injury, Beau Allen has been making the best of his chances. He beat rookie Josh Andrews like a rented mule and then displayed impressive strength against Jason Kelce. I’ve been saying this since the Eagles drafted Allen in the seventh round – don’t be surprised if he’s the starting base nose by the end of the season.
Could Beau Allen actually beat out Bennie Logan for the starting NT job this year? I don’t think so. Logan is about 15 pounds lighter, but that is not the big deal many think. Logan has long arms and can 2-gap. He is a very good athlete for a NT and is effective on the stunts/loops that the Eagles like to use up front. Logan was the NT when the defense got hot last year. They held 5 straight opponents to 90 yards or less on the ground. And remember that Logan was learning on the fly, having never played 3-4 NT before.
Allen does have potential. But I can’t shake the Ohio State game from my head.
Allen is probably bigger and stronger now than he’s ever been. He’s getting great coaching. He has top talent around him. But I need to see him really handle some NFL people in live action before I start buying too much into the hype.
I’m glad the young man is playing well and making the most of Logan’s injury. I just don’t want to build up a false set of expectations for him. If he plays lights out on Friday night, maybe I’ll change my tune. For now, I think Allen has to be more concerned with making sure he’s the #2 NT than anything else. Damion Square isn’t going to just hand that spot over.
Last year NT was such a mystery, with Sopoaga and the rookies. Now you have Logan in place. Square is bigger and stronger. We haven’t heard much about him. Allen looks like he’s going to be at least an effective role player, hopefully more. And 4th stringer Wade Keliikipi was a good NT at Oregon that has NFL potential. Much better group than last year.
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• Rookie fifth round pick Taylor Hart is beginning to generate a lot of buzz. On the occasions I’ve watched him, I can see why. At a minimum, he holds his ground in the run game. I’d be shocked if Hart doesn’t see legitimate action as early as Week 1.
• Travis Long is another defender who is playing well. According to some of the other media guys near me, Long bull rushed OT Kevin Graf during team drills, knocking him on his back. I only caught the tail end of that play, but was locked in from there. On the next play, Long got around Graf again for a pressure on the QB. From there on out, Long was doubled by Graf and Michael Bamiro. Great series for Long.
• Backup OT Andrew Gardner stoned Brandon Graham and Damion Square on consecutive reps in 1-on-1′s, however, it appeared that Trent Cole got the best of him later on. Gardner has been getting second team reps at LT, and appears to be pushing hard for a roster spot.
I love reading about the backup linemen.
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• Quarterback Nick Foles looked pretty good. I didn’t see him make too many mistakes. The only bad throw I can remember was a slightly overthrown pass to running back LeSean McCoy, who was running a wheel route. Foles didn’t throw an interception on Monday. Prior to today he had thrown at least one in his last four practices. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I saw any interceptions thrown on Monday. That hasn’t happened since Day 3 of training camp.
• Random, but true: G.J. Kinne is deceptively fast when he takes off running with the ball. I’m pretty sure he’s the fastest quarterback on the team. Let’s hope we get to see him break off a nice run in the preseason.
Preseason games are going to be crucial for Kinne in his bid to try and get in on the QB battle. His reps in practice have really decreased.
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Vinny Curry rushed from the edge against Jason Peters. Curry was quick off the snap, but Peters just ran him into the backfield. Peters, without much fanfare, just shoulders along. I think he needs maybe two more high level years to be considered Hall of Fame-worthy, but it’s something he wants, along with, of course, finally winning a Super Bowl, and I think it’s within his reach.
Mychal Kendricks got an opportunity to rush. The inside linebackers are typically working elsewhere, but he made the best of his opportunity and took the corner on Lane Johnson.
Center David Molk should be nicknamed “Shoulder Pads” for the number of times the top part his equipment comes out from under his jersey. He poked Damion Square in the eye during one matchup. That’s one way to protect the quarterback. Square returned.
Marcus Smith struggled during his two chances. He got some push against Donald Hawkins, but lost his football and tumbled on top of the rookie tackle. Smith tried to go outside on Allen Barbre, but the tackle held him off with one hand.
Rookie tackle Kevin Graf has been struggling in pass pro, but did well against Joe Kruger and then outside linebacker Travis Long. During team drills, though, Long ran Graf over and placed him on his back. Impressive. A play later, Long dodged Graf and got to Barkley.
– Important as one on ones are, the Eagles pass rushers have to transition to game action. The first team was strong during one set of plays. Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin split a “sack” on first down and then Barwin came back the next play and was rewarded for “sacking” Foles, who held onto the ball too long.
– A few quickies … The Eagles shook up the safety depth chart again. Jenkins and Chris Maragos were with the first team, while Allen and Earl Wolff ran with the twos. … I haven’t spoken much about Kendricks but he is silently having a strong camp. He had tight coverage on Momah downfield and Foles threw incomplete. … Rookie tight end Trey Burton has talent. He’s smooth catching the ball out of the backfield. I don’t know much about his blocking.