The Arkansas native was on nobody's draft radar 7 months ago, but a fantastic senior season has had scouts taking notice. A 3 year starter and 1 year backup, Allen's first 3 years were pedestrian at best, only surpassing 50% completion rate once. This year, it jumped to 66%. His yards, touchdowns, and YPA increased from 2285 to 3440, 20 to 30, and 6.7 to 9.3. While his interception total did go from 5 to 8, that was a result of Allen stretching the field more.
Still, Allen is not a big target for teams in the draft, mostly due to his size. He's 6'1 and has(had) 8 1/2" hands, which are both much smaller than NFL evaluators prefer. However, those were Senior Bowl measurements. After the Senior Bowl, Allen had a personal masseuse stretch his hands, and the results were obvious. At the combine, Allen's hands measured 8 7/8 inches, and he's continued treatment, hoping to get them over 9". For those worried about Allen's stature causing problems seeing over the line, think about this: On average, Arkansas's offensive line weighs 328 lbs per person, which is not only the heaviest in college, but the NFL too. C Mitch Smothers is 6'3, T Denver Kirkland is 6'5, G Sebastian Tretola is 6'5, and T Dan Skipper is 6'10(Not a typo!). Allen will likely have a much easier time seeing over an NFL offensive line than the one he did in college.
While the Arkansas QB did operate in a run heavy offense with a lot of play-action, he displayed an NFL skillset with a cannon arm, a quick release, and great accuracy. The underrated signal caller has also shown an ability to hold his own in a shootout, for example, when Arkansas lost 50-51 against Mississppi State on a missed field goal. Although he lacks the preferred size, Allen can throw a blazing fastball accurately and on time or loft a rainbow deep downfield.
School: University of Arkansas
College Experience: Senior
Ht/Wt: 6-1/217 lbs
Measurements: 4.84 40 Yard Dash 1.71 10 YD Split
Career Stats: 7,463 YDs, 64 TDs, 26 INTs, 53.6% Comp.
1st game in on Arkansas QB Brandon Allen. He looks pretty good. pic.twitter.com/5lSJkLdDt4— Craig Medeiros (@craigmedy) April 13, 2016
Dan Arnos' play design & Brandon Allen's execution is dreamy. https://t.co/66DBsfLFiQ— Luke Carlton (@ljacarlton) March 16, 2016
Brandon Allen on the $$$ https://t.co/FAwjrGUeEf— SEC Chad (@SEC_Chad) February 28, 2016
Brandon Allen with some zip. pic.twitter.com/AuSd46I6Bu— SEC Chad (@SEC_Chad) February 27, 2016
Brandon Allen climbs pocket, shows arm strength and accuracy https://t.co/3DnrA03HX1— IDthe22 (@idthe22) January 30, 2016
Brandon Allen https://t.co/hafXUkNxIm— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) January 18, 2016
- Rocket for an arm
- Throws very catchable balls
- Snappy release
- Accurate, usually hitting receivers in stride with a tight spiral
- Allows receivers to generate YAC
- Fits ball into tight windows
- Good funtional mobility
- High football IQ
- Accurate on the run
- Does not turn ball over often
- Can drop the ball in a bucket with touch throws
- Touch passes are usually over LBs and under Safeties
- Showed considerable growth each year
- Solid foundational mechanics
- Poised and confident in the pocket, able to climb and maneuver
- Good footwork
- Gets ball out in rhythm
- Voted team captain
- 3 year starter; started final 34 games
- Played against rugged SEC defenses
- Height is a concern
- Hand size is a ?
- Smallish frame includes narrow shoulders and base
- Protected by a talented O-line and scheme
- Was not asked to read defenses or work through progressions much
- Will stare down a target
- Over 40% of dropbacks were play-action
- Not a running threat
- Sometimes tested defenses too much
- Half of his TDs in 2015 came in a 2 game stretch
NFL Comparison: Kirk Cousins, WAS
How He Fits
Overall, Brandon Allen might be the best value in the 2016 draft. Most evaluators have Allen in the 4th-5th range. In my opinion, he's a much better player right now than Christian Hackenberg, who's projected to go in the 2nd. I also don't believe the skill gap between Brandon Allen and Connor Cook is two to three rounds. Allen has the traits you look for in a future starter at QB. With a couple years holding a clipboard, Allen could be a solid player for years to come. Matt Miller likens him to Kirk Cousins: "If there's a Kirk Cousins QB in this draft, I'm calling Brandon Allen. Smart, accurate QB with leadership skills. Can play on the move." Once an afterthought, Allen is beginning to generate buzz as the potential steal of the draft. If Allen is there in the 4th round and I'm the 49ers, I don't think twice about it. Allen can come in and immediately be a solid backup and spot starter and take over the reigns in a few years.