Burst - Good first step out of a 2-point stance, covers ground quickly up the arc with long strides. Don't know if his 40 will be anything special, but I think his first ten will be just fine. Slight recoil in his stance which can delay his first step by a split-second. Against Mississippi State worked from a 3-point stance on a handful of snaps and his get-off was jaw-dropping every play. May be an indication that his explosiveness is magnified with his hand in the dirt, something he didn't do often at Kentucky.
Bend - The progress he has made getting his hips and feet pointed to the pocket is truly amazing. Couldn't corner at all in 2017, returned to school, added weight and still showed outstanding flexibility. Drops his shoulder fluidly to reduce surface area and win at the top of the arc. Bendy in the hips and can turn fairly tight corners to the pocket.
Rush Moves - Among the biggest areas of improvement for him. Used his hands much better in 2018 than he did a year ago. Two-handed swats to win the edge became a go-to move. Does a good job of reducing his surface area while cornering, using his inside arm to keep his frame relatively clean around the edge. Flashed push-pull throughout the year that gave him several 1v1 wins. Long arm and cross chop could be deadly moves for him if he eventually adds them. Doesn't convert speed-to-power very often, but I wouldn't either with his other traits.
Counters - Will run relentlessly at the edge instead of taking an inside path to the quarterback. Has to do a better job at converting speed-to-counter and winning back inside against oversets. Florida's Jawaan Taylor overset on him all day, and Allen was too slow to work counter moves against him. Has all the tools with his burst and bend to force tackles deep in their set points and exploit the inside track to the quarterback.
Run Defense - Has improved a lot at stacking-and-shedding, but will still get engulfed at times when he is caught unprepared. Most of the time fires hands to chest and gains early control of the rep, showing the strength to push-pull blockers off his frame. Can do a better job keeping his outside shoulder clean when setting the edge. Not the type of force defender that will re-set the line of scrimmage every play, but strong enough to get the job done 1v1 and fully capable in space as well. Does need to do a better job not getting too deep and maintaining proper depth to the line of scrimmage.
Lateral Mobility - Maybe a sluggish laterally, but still more than athletic enough to play in space and not be a liability in any way. Change of direction does seem surprisingly un-explosive for a guy with his athletic gifts, although overall movement skills remain smooth and fully capable.
Mental Processing/Vision - Asked to play from a ton of different alignments and execute a bevy of assignments for Kentucky, did the vase majority at a high level. Definitely still developing as a mental processor from snap-to-whistle, was a beat slow to find the ball and attack his gap when playing off the ball, which shouldn't be super concerning for the NFL considering he'll be on the edge. Needs to process quicker and step down when unblocked on the edge.
Tackling/Finishing - Most concerning is when Allen arrives at the ball carrier and tosses a shoulder at him rather than wrap up, something I've seen a few times. Most of the time his form is good, and as a pass rusher he targets the football brilliantly. Consistently finds a way to finish even by getting one arm free and his hips around to swipe the quarterback in his release. Not a big hitter in the run game, but gets runners on the ground.
Competitive Toughness - He plays a ton of snaps and he plays most of them very hard, but every so often he'll take one off. His style of play is not overly physical, nor is physicality a concern. As he's gotten stronger, his desire to grind out tough reps in the trenches has grown as well.
Athleticism/Size - Size, length, build and athleticism all appear to be top-notch. Should be a winner at the Combine, where he really needs to kill 3-cone, 10-yard split and the jumps to ensure the transition of his style of play to the NFL.
BEST TRAIT - Burst/Bend
WORST TRAIT - Counters
RED FLAGS - None
In 51 career games as a Wildcat, Allen never failed to suit up, beginning his career as a special teams demon and ending it as the face of the program's impressive rise. Many believed Allen would declare last year as a probably day two pick, but instead he returned to school, added weight and completely transformed his game.
18.5 tackles-for-loss, 14 sacks and five forced fumbles later, Allen is widely considered a first round lock and even a possible top ten pick. His game is certainly not all the way there yet, as his hands, variety of rush moves, counters and mental processing are all in need of further development. Allen's natural traits can't be taught however, and his progress as a pass rusher over the past season is stunning. He has the look of an annual double-digit sack artist if he maintains his current trajectory at the NFL level.