One of the NFL Draft's premier experts recently announced his first two-round NFL mock draft and he has an interesting name going to the Falcons in the second round at pick No. 55.
ESPN's Mel Kiper, in his April 4 mock draft, selects Illinois offensive tackle Jeff Allen for the Falcons. It's the first time the name of Allen has been associated with Atlanta. None of the previous drafts in the Mock Monitor have pinpointed Allen for the Falcons.
Allen, 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds, was a four-year starter for Illinois and bounced back and forth between right and left tackle during his college career. Scouts like Allen's durability, but question his overall strength in generating push in the running game. Kiper thinks Allen can help Atlanta at multiple positions.
"The Falcons have a need here, and Allen could help early on the right side with upside at left," Kiper wrote.
Many scouts believe Allen may be best suited to move inside and play guard. At the Senior Bowl in January, Allen got in a lot of reps as a guard and did an adequate job, though his technique was lacking at times.
"With Allen, it doesn't always look pretty, but he seems to get the job done," Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com said.
NFLDraftScout.com ranks Allen as the 11th-best tackle in the draft.
Other players available in Kiper's draft for the Falcons included running backs LaMichael James and David Wilson, defensive lineman Jared Crick and offensive guard Brandon Brooks.