Eagles safety Nate Allen has drawn the ire of fans for years for his lack of adequate play for a starter. Despite his futile efforts, Allen has continued to start for four years and had yet to improve. That was until Week 5 of this season. Since the loss to the Broncos, Allen has been among the few bright spots for the Eagles.
Allen ranks as 38th out of 85 safeties in the league by Pro Football Focus. The ranking means he is better than at least 26 other starting safeties in the league. The guy that a large majority of the fanbase wanted to get rid of has easily been the Eagles best safety and has had five solid performances with positive grades from PFF in eight games. He has blitzed and tackled well along with being solid in coverage.
Let's take a look at who Allen ranks higher than on PFF:
- Ryan Clark
- Dashon Goldson
- Thomas DeCoud
- Ed Reed
- Matt Elam
- Jonathan Cyprien
- Bernard Pollard
- Antrel Rolle
While the scheme change should get a lot of credit for Allen's performance, it should be noted that he had two very unreasonable schemes in the prior two seasons of his career. His rookie year was phenomenal but coming back from a serious leg injury and having an offensive line coach who is out of his element as a defensive coordinator does not help your career. The arrival of Billy Davis may have saved his career and the new defensive play-caller believes that Allen is among his top pupils. Allen has clearly deserved praise for his performance and may be able to parlay it for another few seasons in Philadelphia.