Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
With the 3rd Pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select, Jonathan Allen, Defensive Tackle, Alabama.
As most teams picking 3rd overall, "Da Bears" have several needs: QB, DL, DB, OT, WR. Though QB is the most important position in football, the Bears have already found their answers at QB in Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez right?! Regardless, they are already paying Glennon a lot of money and 2017 has a weak QB class, so I don't think they would go QB here. Similarly, I don't believe that there are any OT or WR prospects worthy of being taken at 3rd overall.
So where does this leave us? The Bears are going to use their pick to either shore up their porous secondary with Jamal Adams or to build a dominant front seven with Jonathan Allen. However, in the past two drafts, Chicago took 4 DBs and in this NFL Free Agency period, they spent money on Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper (not to mention they also have former Eagles legends Quintin Demps and Brandon Boykin on their roster). Additionally, since we all know football is won or lost in the trenches and with Chicago traditionally having tough imposing defenses, I believe they fall in love with Jonathan Allen and will want to see what he can do in Vic Fangio's defense.
Draft profile via NFL.com:
Strengths: Taken to school by Alabama coaching staff and is technically proficient in all phases. Plays outside and inside. Quick off the ball. Superior hand-grappler who can control the wrists and forearms of his opponents with accurate hand placement over wild chops and slaps. Varied approach as a pass rusher. Excellent athletic ability and possesses flexible hips. Able to coordinate hands, feet, and hips to climb over the edge against tackles. Has play strength and quickness to rip through the weak inside post of a guard. Can club with either hand to soften the edge of a blocker. Has posted consistent quarterback pressure and sack numbers despite playing in less than half of the defensive snaps. Alert against the run. Quick to diagnose the mesh point against zone reads and gives chase to the ball. Strong on the edge. Has speed down the line to close down back-side cuts. Feet never seem to stop. Vocal leader willing to give strong corrections to teammates in practice. Came to Alabama as an outside linebacker and runs like it when he's in the open field.
Weaknesses: Lacking the height teams look for from defensive ends. Not very long and could struggle to win the race for hand positioning against long NFL tackles. Found himself engulfed by linemen with mass from time to time. A move inside could require more bulk on his bones. Not built to take on double-team blocks for a living. Doesn't possess lateral quickness and twitch to contain speedy running backs from getting the corner when he's at defensive end. Teams utilizing one-gap scheme could question his lack of tackles on other side of the line. Might have benefitted by playing along so much NFL talent up front.
NFL Comparison: Fletcher Cox
Normally, I scoff at the NFL.com comparisons, but when I watched Jonathan Allen, I was immediately reminded of our "man dawg." Take a look at how dominant he can be:
I loved seeing him leap at that poor QB at 0:25, love the athleticism at 1:09 and 3:02, love the suplex of the RB at 1:30, love the awareness at 2:18 and 2:33.
I see Jonathan Allen as an elite athlete, with high football IQ, who's relentless and doesn't quit on plays, who seems to be a great team leader by all accounts, and who has multiple Pro Bowl potential. While he currently lacks ideal height for a DE and ideal bulk for a DT, he would fit well as a DE in the Bears' 3-4 scheme. I believe the Bears would love to have him on their D-line next to Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks, taking up blocks and allowing their LBs (Pernell McPhee, Danny Trevathan, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Lamarr Houston) to make plays on the ball. This selection would immediately drastically improve the Bears' front 7.
Lastly, I do want to touch on the shoulder concerns. Not being doctor, I can't really say how bad his shoulders might be, but personally, I feel like concerns like this usually get overblown (we'll see on draft night). However, this selection supposes that the Bears have checked out his shoulders or any other medical concern and they feel like it won't negatively impact his career.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock ...
2017 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing):
5) Titans (drc242):
6) Jets (boomorbust):
7) Chargers (NowWhat?):
8) Panthers (B-Potts):
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service):
10) Bills (jimmyrustler):
11) Saints (NotSoSlick):
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid):
13) Cardinals (Paulie97):
14) Eagles (ablesser88):
15) Colts (mconner96):
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!):
17) Washington (kbruneault):
18) Titans (mchiodo):
19) Buccaneers (ei78):
20) Broncos (NVEaglesShark):
21) Lions (Shark Fighter):
22) Dolphins (J. Wil):
23) Giants (BigWardy59):
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12):
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):