Michigan State has a lot riding on the 2018 NFL Draft. The university has had a player drafted in 77 straight drafts, the second-longest active streak in the nation. While Michigan State rebounded, flipping the script from 3-10 to 10-3, this year’s professional prospect pool is looking barren. It’s going to take some hefty performances from players at Michigan State’s pro day this afternoon to make their draft dreams become a reality.
There is one player who is expected to get drafted. He’s no shoo-in, but Brian Allen will likely be off the board early on the draft’s third day, sometime after the fourth round. The four-year starter was incredibly versatile and dependable at State. He was willing and able to move throughout the interior of the offensive line and rarely missed a beat.
Sitting at 6-foot-1 and 300 pounds, Allen isn’t a freak athlete, but his football IQ and determination has made him one of most reliable offensive linemen in the Mark Dantonio era. He’s not a phenomenal pass blocker or a beast in the run game, but he keeps his feet underneath him and seldomly losses leverage.
Allen was the lone Spartan at the Combine and lived up to his expectations. He didn’t take the world by storm, but was sitting pretty in the middle of the deep pack of 48 players.
With a mediocre 40-yard dash, 5.34 seconds, Allen was nearly a full tenth of a second slower than the average (5.27). He also struggled with the broad jump; his 99-inch leap was five inches shorter than the mean. However, the his vertical leap was right on par at 26.5 inches.
The bench press was Allen’s best measurement. He repped 225 pounds 27 times, three more reps than the average, tied for the eighth-most amongst the offensive line group. The strength he showed is a good thing, but he had a bit of an advantage.
It’s simple physics. Work equals force times distance. Allen had the 15th shortest arms (33 ⅜ inches), he had less distance to move the 225 pounds.
Arm length isn’t the only measurement that come up short. The average hand, from top of the middle finger to bottom on the palm, was 10 inches, Allen’s are only 9 ¼.
The arm and hand length won’t be an issue if Allen is drafted to be a center, as he’s listed, but teams will be interested in him as a guard, that’s where the measurables become concerning.
With everything we know about Allen, he’s a solid fourth-round pick and will see limited snaps his first couple seasons. His versatility will make him a solid rotational guy who can fill in at all three interior spots.
All it takes is for one team to fall in love with you to draft you. It’d be surprising to see Allen gone before day three, but on that final day of the draft, he will be a hot commodity for teams looking for offensive line depth.