Brandon Allen, QB
School: Arkansas | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 217 lbs
SPARQ: 92.6 / NFL %: 27.3
Projected Draft Status: 5th - 6th Round
NFL Comparison: AJ McCarron
Brandon Allen was an afterthought as an NFL draft prospect entering his senior season, but became a legitimate late-round developmental prospect leaving it. His production steadily climbed each year, from throwing for a 49.6% competion rate, 1,552 yards, and 13 TDs:10 INTs his freshman year to 65.9%, 3,440 yards, and 30 TDs:8 INTs as a senior.
His dad is Arkansas' director of high school and NFL relations, and in high school Allen won Arkansas High School Player of the Year. At the Senior Bowl, his hands measured in at a disappointing 8 1/2" (the widely-held "minimum" for a QB is 9"), so he hired a personal masseuse to try and stretch his hands larger. At the Combine, he measured in at 8 7/8", and hopes to get them stretched to over 9" by his pro day. His final year he was voted team captain and had the highest passer rating in the SEC.
Allen's production has been criticized for being a function of a strong offensive line and running attack that opened up options in the play-action game. While a lot of that is true, he showed ability to play in a pro-style offense at a high level and kept his team in games during several shootouts (lost a 50-51 battle with Dak Prescott's Mississippi State after a missed field goal). Although smallish in stature with not many standout measurables, Allen is a feisty baller with a deceivingly strong arm, and can throw with anticipation and touch. With a couple years of further physical and mental seasoning in the NFL, he can grow into a spot starter and strong backup option.
- Throws a very catchable ball; quick release, zippy velocity, with touch to fit into small windows between defenders
- Good mobility in rollouts and bootlegs, good accuracy while throwing on the run
- Confident and composed under center, college offense featured many pro-style concepts
- Willing to test defenses deep and shows ability to lead receivers to gain YAC
- Quality poise and presence in the pocket, able to climb and maneuver to make throws
- Smallish frame - narrow shoulders and base, very small hands
- Lacks quality height
- Played with big, beefy offensive line that wore down defenses (actually biggest offensive line in either college or NFL at an average of 328 pounds), had run-oriented offense featuring multiple 1,000-yard rushers which reduced pressure to throw
- Past year was his best season, but was flashes of brilliance mixed with ordinary play. In two games he throw for 15 TDs : 0 INTs; in remaining games he had 15 TDs to 8 INTs
- Willingness to test defenses can lead to unnecessary turnovers
Bucs are looking at Arkansas QB Brandon Allen -- QBs coach Mike Bajakian gave him private workout. 30 TDs/8 INT, 3,440 yards as senior.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 1, 2016
Mallett: I’m excited for Brandon Allen to get the chance to show what he can do in the NFL.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) March 24, 2016
Don't be surprised if Redskins select a QB in the later rounds of the NFL Draft. Perhaps Arkansas's Brandon Allen.https://t.co/vWOjWiR0T3— Breaking Burgundy (@breakburgundy) March 23, 2016
Dan Arnos' play design & Brandon Allen's execution is dreamy. https://t.co/66DBsfLFiQ— Luke Carlton (@ljacarlton) March 16, 2016
If there's a Kirk Cousins QB in this draft, I'm calling Brandon Allen. Smart, accurate QB with leadership skills. Can play on the move.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 21, 2016
NFL analyst explains why former Arkansas QB Brandon Allen could be draft steal https://t.co/PnMXK68JIS— SEC Football (@SECfootball) March 9, 2016
How He'd Fit on the Redskins
I'd really like to see the Skins draft Brandon Allen in the 5th round as a developmental project behind Kirk and Colt. He shares many of same traits as both of our two current quarterbacks - undersized, accurate, functionally mobile players that lead by example. This would make teaching and scheming that much easier as the playbook doesn't have to be tailored to suit one specific skillset. Additionally Jay Gruden seems to favor somewhat undersized but technically-sound quarterback prospects - Andy Dalton is the prime example. Allen already has a decent amount of experience in a pro-style offense, plays with above-average footwork and technique, and is well-liked (team captain), which fits the archetype of a Jay Gruden QB. Furthermore he aligns with McCloughan's philosophy of drafting experienced "football players" (senior who started 3 years, dad is Arkansas football brass) who played under the "bright lights" (games against Alabama, LSU, Miss. State in SEC) with chips on their shoulders. I think Allen is an overlooked QB prospect who gets knocked for size but has many desirable and rather rare traits.