Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Redskins Land the Steal of the First Round in Jonathan Allen

Jonathan Allen Flickr via Riley Morris

Washington continues to rebuild its defense with the first-round selection of Jonathan Allen

It has been six years since the Redskins last selected a defensive player in the first round of the NFL Draft. That changed last night with the selection of Jonathan Allen. Considered by many to be one of the best players in the draft, it was a bit surprising to see Allen available when the Redskins were on the clock. Reportedly his drop was due to health concerns.

However Dr. James Andrews has assured the team Jonathan Allen is indeed 100 percent. “We didn’t have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden Thursday night. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Jonathan Allen would have been a first-round pick last year after a solid junior season in which he had 36 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks and two forced fumbles. Arguably the best player on the Crimson Tide in 2016, Jonathan Allen led all interior linemen with 67 pressures. (Per Pro Football Focus) Allen posted 69 tackles, 16 tfl, 10.5 sacks as a senior. En route to winning both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards.

How does Jonathan Allen impact the Redskins?

Allen is widely regarded to be one of the more “NFL Ready” prospects in this year’s draft class. He’s everything a team would want in a first-round selection. Allen provides the Redskins with much needed youth along the defensive line. At 6’3 291 pounds, he’s highly effective against the run and the pass. According to Pro Football Focus, Jonathan Allen ranked fourth among defensive linemen in both pass rush productivity and run stop percentage  Allen provides Washington with excellent versatility, as he has the ability to play anywhere along the defensive line.

With nine selections left in the draft, the Redskins will almost certainly look to add more young talent on defense. Washington has done a solid job of rebuilding it through free agency but if they are to regain the top spot in the NFC East, they’ll need more from its defense. Going up against a team like the rival Dallas Cowboys, you’ll need players like Jonathan Allen.