Mobile, Ala. – Label him whatever you wish, but Penn State Marcus Allen is more than just a safety. Allen is capable of mirroring receivers and is comfortable lining up at linebacker.
Allen is physical and enjoys coming downhill and lowering the boom on his opponents, but he also has a great feel in zone and man coverage. Allen is a student of the game and is able to play fast and free on game day as a result.
While he has just one interception in his career as a member of the Nittany Lions, that is not reflective of his ability in coverage. Allen has demonstrated the ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and jump passing lanes to cause incompletions.
At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Allen is in the mold of a Arizona linebacker Deone Buchannon, and his ability to contribute as a safety, as well as a linebacker would afford Miami’s defense position flexibility it hasn’t had in previous seasons.
Call Allen whatever you wish, but more than anything else: he’s a football player who is as cerebral as they come. His ability to play multiple spots at a high level caused Penn State’s co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks to label as “one of the best” safeties he’s every worked with.
What exactly is it about Allen that caused Banks to heap such high praise on him? Allen credits his smarts, tenacity and God-given size.
“I would say just my understanding of the game. I comprehend teaching very well; I got a good grasp of it. … Just my physicality as well, and then I can cover. … There’s a lot of things and a lot of tools that I can do at this size that I have, and I showcase it on the field.”
Allen certainly does have all the tools to be an impact player in the NFL, and if the Dolphins hope to improve their ability to stop tight joker tight ends, the former Nittany Lion could be a part of the solution.