Much has been written about Philadelphia Eagles’ draft picks like linebacker Marcus Smith and wide receiver Jordan Matthews, and for good reason. They’re the team’s top picks and as such will have the top expectations to contribute in the upcoming season.
But the NFL Draft is seven rounds and a draft class is comprised of more than two players. So, let’s start meeting some of the other new Philadelphia Eagles.
How about seventh-round selection, Wisconsin nose tackle Beau Allen?
Before we go any further, take a look at that lead photo again. In the center of that photo is Beau Allen. In his hands is the Paul Bunyon Axe, which goes to the team winning the annual Wisconsin-Minnesota game. According to the photo caption, Allen is using this trophy as he “chops down the goal post.”
Look at that guy. Wisconsin won the game, giving Allen and his teammates the trophy, but do you think that mattered? The guy looks insane. If you were Minnesota and you won the axe, and that dude came looking for it, you drop it and run. Check out the cop in the background. A thought bubble of, “Yup, I should stop them from chopping the goal post down, but this boy is crazy” fits perfectly.
And I thought this photo was my favorite of Allen. Not even close.
The picture of Allen the Axeman is enough to make me want to root for the guy. He’s exuding passion, the kind of passion that lights up Lincoln Financial Field on Sundays. The kind of passion Eagles fans love on their team’s defense.
Allen will compete for time at nose tackle, his true position and the centerpiece of a 3-4 defensive line. Currently, the Eagles list Bennie Logan as their starter and Damion Square as the backup. Logan emerged as a standout defensive lineman during the season, but Allen should be able to push Square to become the primary backup in the rotation.
Allen is a run stopper. As Mike Mayock notes, Allen “doesn’t move great, but is a tough run stuffer…He’s a two-down thumper.” His NFL.com draft profile features such nuggets as “stoutly built lower body (squats a small house)” and “has a desirable mentality for the position” and “big, beefy, active, loquacious nose tackle who does not consistently play to his size or weight room strength, but has developmental value.”
Good luck finding another draft prospect with the word “loquacious” in his profile.
He demonstrates his talkative nature in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel blog post, in which he admits that there is “nothing too sexy about a white, 330-pound nose guard from Wisconsin.” He also discussed some of what’s given him that 330-pound frame, explaining his love of gummy worms. Apparently, Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland would buy Allen a bag any time the tackle made a big play.
Seventh-round picks are supposed to be projects, but the Eagles might not have long to go to make Allen a productive player.
I’m not sure how gummy worms fit into Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s whole sports science thing, but if Allen is making big plays on Sundays someone will find a way to drop a few bags in his locker.