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As we continue our series of NFL Draft Prospect Profiles let's look at a player who seems to be another in what shapes up to be a pretty deep crop of safeties likely to be off the board in the first half of the April draft.
Nate Allen of South Florida. Like Chad Jones of LSU, who we talked about Wednesday, Allen appears to be rising up draft boards.
To be honest, I can't recall ever seeing Allen play. I like a lot of what I read in the reports, though, about both his physical skills and his intangibles.
Let's take a closer look and see if he is a player who might fit with the Giants.
The video below is from back in 2007, but it gives you an idea of Allen's play-making ability.
Nate Allen Scouting Reports
Allen is a 6-foot-2, 206-pound free safety who could be available to the Giants in the second round.
Here is an excellent report on Allen from Draft Countdown.
Excellent range --- Outstanding instincts --- Great hands and ball skills --- Excels in zone coverage --- Technically sound --- Closes fast --- Tough --- Physical --- Reliable tackler --- Great motor --- Smart --- Hard worker --- A lot of experience --- Team leader.
Pure speed is just average --- Struggles when asked to match up with wide outs in man coverage
Classic center fielder who is renowned for his play-making ability --- Possesses solid physical tools and exceptional intangibles --- Leader of the secondary who functions as an extension of the coaching staff --- Profiles as a starter in the NFL.
Allen is a fluid safety that tackles well and deliver big hits. He struggles matched up man-to-man against wide receivers, but excels in zone coverage where his instincts help him make plays. Great work ethic and leadership.
Pros: Fluid, Strength, Tackling
Cons: Speed, Man-to-Man
Verdict: 2nd-4th Round
From Fantasy Football Toolbox.
His strong senior season has silenced some doubters and Allen is one of the best free safeties available in this class. Allen has the size and speed one would expect from a free safety. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, he has the measurables that NFL scouts like to see and his ability to pick off passes and stop the big plays on the ground will make him a valuable player.
SB Nation's Mocking The Draft ranks Allen as the No. 3 free safety in this year's draft class.
Allen has the speed and athleticism to cover a lot of ground in the secondary. Allen doesn't have the best hands, but he can be disruptive when the ball is in the air.
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post ranks Allen ahead of both Earl Thomas and Travis Mays in his evaluation of the free safety draft class.
A well-built safety with good instincts, Allen always seems to play within himself. He takes good angles toward the football in the run game and is a solid wrap-up tackler in the open field. Allen isn't overly explosive and lacks elite range in the secondary, but reads his keys quickly and is always in position to make a play. ...
Diagnoses plays quickly and has the footwork to consistently put himself in position to make a play on the ball. Doesn't make many mistakes and looks like a solid starting safety at the next level.
Why Allen fits with the Giants
A play-making safety? Why wouldn't he fit with the Giants? Did you see any of those on the field for New York after Kenny Phillips went down with his season-ending, and possibly career-changing, knee injury? I didn't. Maybe you would like a little more speed, but he is reputed to be an excellent zone cover guy. And Perry Fewell is supposed to favor zone schemes.
Why the Giants should pass
The speed issue is my main concern with Allen. I will be curious to see how fast he times out at the Combine. And as the draft closes in I will be curious to see if more experts rate him at the top of the safety class.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)