The New York Giants have an interesting mix of low-cost veteran free agents (Ricky Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins), mid-round draft picks (Daniel Bellinger) and undrafted free agents competing for roster spots at a re-worked tight end position.
One of the intriguing undrafted tight ends in Austin Allen, formerly of Nebraska. Let’s review what makes Allen a player to watch when training camp arrives as we continue profiles the 90 players on the roster.
By the numbers
Position: Tight end
Contract: Three years, $2.56 million | 2022 cap hit: $705,000
Allen set Nebraska record in 2021 for receptions in a season (38), yards receiving (602), single-game receiving yards (143 vs. Wisconsin) and 100-yard receiving games by a tight end (2).
Dane Brugler had a Round 6-7 grade on Allen in his 2022 NFL Draft Guide. He wrote:
With his height, catch radius and strong hands, Allen was a consistent chain-mover on tape and his athletic profile suggests upside as a route-runner. He uses sound angles to get into position as a blocker, although his taller stature and narrow base hinder his sustain and finish skills. Overall, Allen doesn’t have dynamic route skills to easily uncover, but he is a contested catch monster with the traits that suggest there is more meat on that bone. He has intriguing development potential.
Allen is a 6-foot-7⅝, 253-pound player with plus measurables and athleticism for the tight end position. Strength might be a downfall as he did only 8 bench press reps. He is also already 24.
In the Football Gameplan Draft Guide, Emory Hunt writes:
- Massive target in the passing game that plays a big man’s game at all levels of the field. Gives the QB a wide catch radius, both over the middle of the field and inside the red zone.
- Very comfortable in catching the ball away from his body, shows good athleticism in that regard.
- Has some flexibility within his game, able to play all 3 TE spots if need be.
Areas of Improvement:
- Will need to bring his hands with him consistently. He’ll make great initial contact, but without good hand usage, defenders can slip his blocks.
- Needs to play as big in the run game as he does in passing game.
Allen knows that he needs to get bigger and stronger:
“People want to see me get a little more mass on me, a little more muscle,” Allen said at Nebraska’s pro day. “But I knew that, I knew that coming in. When they asked me ‘what do you want to change?’ I said just work out harder and put a little weight on.